Representatives from NIC and MISA sign a memorandum of understanding to help new residents in the region. Photo, NIC

NIC and MISA cooperate to help new residents to north Island

Goal is to empower newcomers to North Vancouver Island

NIC and the Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island (MISA) are joining forces to support the needs of some of the region’s newest residents.

NIC and MISA signed a memorandum of understanding Sept. 25, to serve immigrants in their shared service area, which includes Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Port Hardy, Port McNeill and communities in the Mount Waddington region.

“In many ways, NIC and MISA have the same goals – we empower individuals to achieve their full potential across the region,” said Layne Marshal, president of MISA’s board of directors. “This partnership will help build welcoming and sustainable communities across the region and provide individuals with opportunities to connect and settle successfully in their communities.”

The Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island, which operates the Immigrant Welcome Centres, provides professional services to immigrants in the region, including information and orientation, needs assessments and referrals, employment-related services, community connections and more.

North Island College is committed to the education and training needs of adults in the region by providing high-quality education and skills training, in collaboration with its community partners.

The two organizations already work together, with the Immigrant Welcome Centre hiring co-op students, welcoming international students to the Comox Valley and Campbell River this fall and providing long-term settlement support to international graduates who choose to become permanent residents.

“The role of a community college is really to serve all our residents’ learning needs,” said NIC President John Bowman, whose 2017 sabbatical focused on building stronger ties between the college and community organizations. “Education and community colleges can play a vital role in connecting community members, helping people achieve their academic and career goals through education and welcoming them to their new homes. I’m very proud to formalize our partnership with the Immigrant Welcome Centre today.”

For more information, or to read the agreement, visit www.nic.bc.ca.