Westman Immigrant Services Expands to Include Southwestern Manitoba Communities

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Photo: Westman Immigrant Services

Westman Immigrant Services (WIS) is pleased to announce that as of April 1, 2020, it is responsible for delivering settlement and English language programming to a number of communities throughout the region of southwestern Manitoba. The organization’s federal funding partner, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), outlined plans to streamline the delivery of services to newcomers through a national call for proposals issued in 2019. In response, Westman Immigrant Services worked in partnership with settlement serving agencies in Russell, Virden and Cartwright to submit a plan for the regional delivery of services to newcomers that included enhanced programming and support. A five-year contract has been negotiated with IRCC which will see WIS expand its services to newcomers living in communities throughout the southwestern
corner of Manitoba.

Until now, WIS has delivered programming to newcomers mainly Brandon and the immediate area. This has included settlement and employment services, English language assessments and classes, family and youth programming, and support to students in the Brandon School Division through a settlement workers in schools initiative. Under the new funding agreement, regional offices in Russell and Virden have become part of WIS, and
employees now have access to settlement services, information workshops and school programming that they were not able to deliver in the past. A partnership initiative with the Roblin Cartwright Community Development Corporation sees settlement services delivered in Cartwright, Killarney and Boissevain, with additional programming and support available to newcomers in those communities. WIS has also assumed responsibility for
the delivery of English assessments and classes in Cartwright, Killarney and Boissevain. As the region continues to grow and welcome newcomers from around the world, WIS is poised to support service delivery to more communities through the offices located in Russell, Virden and Cartwright.

WIS Board Chair, Chris Griffin states “This is an exciting time for Westman Immigrant Services as the organization grows to deliver programming to newcomers throughout the region. We look forward to expanding our base of service and supporting the settlement experience of newcomers in many communities. We welcome new partnerships and employees to our organization and are hopeful that our board of directors will become more diversified with members from around the region”. As a non-profit, charitable organization, WIS is governed by a board of directors and supported by more than 45 employees and over 100 volunteers. The organization is currently seeking applications of individuals who are interested in serving on the board of directors. Individuals
who live in all communities now receiving regional services (including Brandon) and are committed to assisting the organization in meeting our mission by providing settlement, employment and language services while helping newcomers create connections and become successful members of their community, are encouraged to apply. Interested individuals are asked to contact Westman Immigrant Services at 204-727-6031, ext. 2235 or email: loism@westmanimmigrantservices.ca for an application form.

(submitted)