The city is set to receive $300,000 from the province from the Settlement, Integration, and Language Project (SILP) Grant.

The grant will fund the Grande Prairie Inclusive and Caring Community Initiative (GPICC) until March 2025.

“This grant provides the city funding to help employers and service providers effectively integrate newcomers into our community,” said Angela Sutherland, director of Community Social Development. 

“Employers, service providers, ethnocultural organizations, and all community members have a role in filling labour gaps, stimulating the economy, and fostering a sustainable, inclusive ecosystem that welcomes newcomers to Grande Prairie.”

The city hopes that by the end of the grant funding, awareness of resources and services available to support newcomers will be raised. The initiative should also gather new information of newcomer needs and improving the ability to respond to those needs.

The city lists five benefits of its initiative, including employer engagement sessions, service provider and ethnocultural organization engagement sessions, an integration roadmap, employer retention package-culture integration guide and activities and networking. 

The initiative is tied to the Rural Renewal Stream that has succeeded in meeting labour needs in the city. 

The Rural Renewal Stream is meant to ensure foreign workers can gain permanent residency quickly in rural areas.  

The city has seen success from the program, and other municipalities in the surrounding area are also utilizing it. 

The city and county economic development departments are sharing best practices to ensure the program benefits the region, said the city in February.

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 11, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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