Guelph initiative creates new opportunities for newcomers, organizations

Guelph, Ont., August 23, 2016 – A new initiative—Newcomers on Board—is creating opportunities for newcomers and organizations to benefit from one another.

The pilot project, launched earlier this summer, matches highly-skilled new Canadians or recent immigrants—living in the Guelph and Wellington County area—with non-profit corporate boards and municipal committees, to share their skills, ideas and passions.

“Newcomers not only enrich the diversity of their communities, they also bring new skills and ideas that help grow local economies. By helping newcomers better integrate into the social and economic fabric of the community, the city of Guelph is positioning itself for continued prosperity,” says Citizenship and Immigration Minister Laura Albanese.

Alex Goss, manager of Community Investment at the City, agrees. “We’re excited to be part of a program focused on bringing diversity and new perspectives to boardrooms across Guelph and Wellington County. Volunteering on a board of directors is a great opportunity for newcomers to get acquainted with their community.”

Christine Oldfield, executive director with the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington, adds, “Research shows that diverse corporate boards are more effective decision makers, innovative thinkers, and have stronger board governance. As our community diversifies and welcomes more new Canadians, it is important that all governing boards benefit from the experience and knowledge that newcomers bring.”

There is no cost for individuals or boards to get involved and training is provided. Funding for this initiative is provided by the Government of Ontario.

“I am very pleased that our government is funding an initiative that will provide unique opportunities for newcomers and non-profit corporate boards and municipal committees. Guelph and Wellington organizations will benefit from the new perspectives and diverse experiences of newcomers to our community,” says Liz Sandals, member of provincial parliament for Guelph.

The City of Guelph, Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington and Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington are overseeing the project, which was initiated with the support of the Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership.

Community partners include: Guelph Chamber of Commerce, Guelph Community Health Centre, Lutherwood Employment Services, University of Guelph’s Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, and Wellington County.

To learn more or register for the program, visit volunteergw.ca or call 519-822-0912 extension 222.

For more information

Alex Goss
Manager, Community Investment
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2675
alex.goss@guelph.ca