Collège Boréal expands services for newcomers in Sudbury
College one of three organizations to receive $540K in provincial funding
New immigrants to Sudbury who are looking for services in French can now turn to Collège Boréal for help.
The college is one of three local organizations that received funding through the province's Newcomer Settlement Program last week.
The YMCA of Northeastern Ontario and the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association also received a portion of the funding, which totals $540,000.
Marc Despatie, the director of communications for Collège Boréal, said although it might come as a surprise to some people, the school has actually been involved in resettlement services for several years.
College offers province-wide services
Those efforts first began in 2005 at the college's southern Ontario campuses, which were experiencing growing and diverse communities of newcomers.
"People were really looking to satisfy three needs: they wanted to either be in training, in post-secondary education and in jobs," Lise Beland, the vice president for Toronto and central southwest, explained.
"French was either their mother tongue, or their second language or third language spoken."
The college now offers settlement services in Toronto, Peel, Hamilton, London, Sarnia Chatham and Windsor. The new Sudbury office opened in September 2017, at the Centre de Santé Communautaire.
Services offered through the Newcomer Settlement Program are open to permanent residents, refugees, naturalized Canadians, international students or those with temporary visas.
Funding a 'fantastic coup for Sudbury'
Beland says community colleges are well equipped to provide these services because their job is to analyze the needs of anyone who walks through their doors.
"As you are analyzing the needs you are then able to figure out what types of services a person needs from settlement services to employment and everything in between."
Support can range from language training and cultural competency, information about the health care and schools system and even where to find a grocery store.
"It extends a hand so that people feel welcome, and that they have connections and that they can really succeed, especially in...education and employment," Beland said.
"It is a fantastic coup for Sudbury to offer these services, so that it can attract and sustain and maintain more families."