Regina Open Door Society receives $1.1M in funding

The Regina Open Door Society's employment readiness program received a financial boost on Thursday when it was presented with a cheque worth close to $1.1 million dollars.

Funding going towards employment readiness program for newcomers

Saskatchewan Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison presented a cheque to the Regina Open Door Society on Thursday.

An employment program that focuses on helping newcomers to Canada overcome cultural and language barriers to employment is getting some dedicated funding. 

The Regina Open Door Society received a cheque for nearly $1.1 million from the Saskatchewan government on Thursday. 

The organization focuses on acclimatizing newcomers, including 500 new Syrian refugees since last year, by helping them through the job-finding process.

The program teaches newcomers how to put together resumes, research job opportunities and finally apply for those job opportunities.

Darcy Dietrich, executive director of the open door society, said the organization helped people from at least 81 countries find jobs, with India, Pakistan, Philippines, China and Nigeria being the top countries of origin. 

"I think this year 1,200 people were served within that program with 450 getting employment in the end," said Dietrich. 

Jeremy Harrison, the minister responsible for immigration and jobs, presented the organization with the cheque.

Some Syrian refugees arrived at the Regina International Airport in January. (CBC)
Harrison says there are some tangible outcomes from the program, including that 85 per cent of people who got jobs last year are still working. 

"That speaks very well of the work that is done here and it's why we continue to work with RODS and other agencies across the province," said Harrison.

Harrison also noted that Saskatchewan's immigration rate is increasing. He said there are 155,000 new people in Saskatchewan over the last decade, more than half from outside of Canada.

"Which is a rate of immigration that we have not seen for 85 years in Saskatchewan," said Harrison.

Most of the new funding will go towards staffing at the Open Door Society.