June 23, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Nineteen newcomers graduated from the Business Immigrant Mentorship Program at a ceremony in Fredericton today.
The provincial government launched the program about a year ago to help immigrant businesspeople. They were matched with New Brunswick entrepreneurs as a means of learning how business in the province is conducted. At the same time, New Brunswick businesspeople had the opportunity to learn about foreign markets and potential business opportunities
"These newcomers have much to contribute to the economic growth and self-sufficiency of our province," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is the minister responsible for the Population Growth Secretariat. "Today we are honouring their accomplishments and the dedication of our local business people who volunteered to be part of their development."
The Population Growth Secretariat invested $75,000, which enabled the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce to hire a co-coordinator, develop the program, perform outreach activities and help cover translation costs. This program was the first of its kind in New Brunswick, and it has since become a model for similar ones elsewhere in the province. The provincial government has approved $68,000 to repeat the program this year.
"The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce recognizes the value that business immigrants bring to our community," said Susan Holt, chief executive officer, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. "Our Business Immigrant Mentorship Program leverages our experienced members to accelerate the successful establishment of new immigrant businesspeople in Fredericton. The program's graduates represent a critical component to Fredericton's long-term success as a diverse, economically vibrant community."
A committee consisting of representatives from the Population Growth Secretariat, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Fredericton, the Multicultural Association of Fredericton and local business representatives has overseen and evaluated the program during the past year.
"Ultimately our goal is to help immigrants be successful in business and, through the efforts of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, we have shown our immigrant businesspeople how welcoming our province can be," Arseneault said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brendan Langille, communications, Population Growth Secretariat, 506-444-5070.