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Brief History of the Welcome Centre

The Welcome Centre is able to provide programs and services to newcomers through the continued help of these organizations and community members who, like us, advocate for the welfare of the increasing number of immigrants coming to Southwest Saskatchewan.
  Milestone dates
2000 12 Kosovar refugee families arrive in Swift Current, through the sponsorship of different church groups. Great Plains College responded by providing English classes. Some community members also came forward to support.
2005 A group of about 12 workers from Colombia arrive to work in UFR. Their arrival drew the attention of the residents of the city and other companies that were also in need of workers. 
  Immigration Committee (IC) was formed, which was a sub-committee of the Labour Attraction and Retention Committee (LARC) in Swift Current.  The members of the IC included Bula Ghosh, who later joined the Board of the Welcome Centre and Claudia Munoz who later became a staff, members of local organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, Great Plains College through its then president Mark Frison, various businesses and local governments in the Southwest.  Their goal was to find ways of attracting and retaining new foreign workers in Swift Current and Southwest Saskatchewan by providing support to these newcomers.

early

2007

After many meetings and discussions, the Newcomer Welcome Centre was born with funding from provincial and federal government. Great Plains College graciously offered to house the Welcome Centre and its lone staff, Immigrant Settlement Coordinator, Anika Henderson.
September 2008

While the College has provided a comfortable home for the Welcome Centre, there was a need for independence in order to expand the services being offered to newcomers.  With new funding from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), the Welcome Centre was able to transfer to its first location out of the College. The new place located on 220 Central Avenue North, needed a lot of work, and on tight budget, friends of the Welcome Centre came forward to help  transform the space into a welcoming place for newcomers and other community members. A colorful, friendly, and indeed welcoming place was created that became the home of the Welcome Centre for the next two years.

 

As the services expanded, there was also a need for additional staff.   Claudia Munoz, was then hired as a Settlement Advisor. With partnership with the Career and Employment Services (CES), the Welcome Centre was joined by an Employment Services Advisor, Elizabeth Davidson.  

  Different training programs funded by CES, such as Driver Education, First Aid/CPR, Safe Food Handling and others were held at the Welcome Centre and were a hit with newcomers.

May

2010

Newcomer Welcome Centre becomes a stand-alone non-profit organization on May 26, 2010. With funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education Employment and Immigration (AEEI), the Welcome Centre was able to hire an Information Services Advisor.

September   2010

With a growing need for the services, it was necessary to move to a bigger location. The Welcome Centre once again moved to a new location across the street at 237 Central Ave North, and hosted a grand opening on September 8 attended by the Minister Rob Norris from the Ministry of AEEI and other government officials, partner organizations and community members. 

It was the same colorful, friendly and welcoming environment but more spacious with more offices and rooms for training, chatting, meeting, exercising, studying and playing.

The Welcome Centre invites everyone to come for a visit. It is always a pleasure to see new people enter our door, witness families reunite and have familiar faces around.