Eastman Immigrant Services learned this week that it will be receiving funding through the Newcomer Community Integration Support (NCIS) program.

Our provincial government is providing a total of $4 million to 24 newcomer service provider organizations. Eastman Immigrant Services is one of those 24 organizations. 

"When we heard about the announcement (Monday) we were excited," says Program Director Freddy Muganza. "We've been waiting for support from the provincial government just to boost our capacity at Eastman Immigrant Services."

Muganza says they are still awaiting confirmation on exactly how much money will be coming their way.

According to Muganza, Eastman Immigrant Services has two streams of funding; some comes from the province and some from the federal government. He notes the money they will receive through this announcement will go towards operations, paying staff and the cost of offering services to their clients. 

He notes funding like this is vital for their organization and it also acknowledges the work they do by both the provincial and federal governments.

Gwen Reimer is Director of Steinbach Chamber of Commerce, which oversees Eastman Immigrant Services. She calls this an exciting announcement.

'It's another few years of being able to service the newcomers that are settling into the Eastman region," says Reimer. "It's an honour to be recognized, it's an honour to be relevant and to know that they entrust us with the funds."

According to Reimer, the number of newcomers that call Eastman their home continues to grow from year to year. She anticipates this trend will continue. Reimer says right now most newcomers are arriving from Ukraine, followed by the Philippines and then India and Nigeria. 

She notes Steinbach is a place where newcomers want to come and call home. Reimer adds businesses are reaching out because they want to make their organizations more diverse and are looking to hire these newcomers. 

"So, this funding, it allows us to help the people that are here settle in our region and make this home," she adds. "Maybe they come, and they are able to start their own businesses, start their own organizations and it is just a very great time to be able to help them with the needs that they do have."

"Attracting and retaining new immigrants has been identified as a key factor in Manitoba's post-pandemic economic recovery," says Labour and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes. "This funding supports our government's vision of a skilled and talented Manitoba, a key component of which is to welcome newcomers and ensure they are able to participate fully in the community and contribute to a growing economy."