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Council for Lifelong Learning to launch mentorship program for skilled newcomers

The Council for Lifelong Learning in Grande Prairie is set to receive a total of $126,682 for a career mentorship program dedicated to any skilled workers new to the area. The funding is coming from the Immigrant Innovation Mentorship Grant.

Executive Director Darrell Wiens says these funds will help respond to a need in the community.

“Grande Prairie tends to attract newcomers because they’re looking for work. Newcomers don’t have social connections, or work connections, and a lot of them have trouble figuring out a path to the career they want to reach.”

The mentorship program is still in the works and in order for it to be properly delivered, help is needed from the community.

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“We’re looking for people in skilled trades that would be interested in becoming mentors. A successful program would see these people take over jobs that need to be filled. It would be good for everyone involved and especially now, during the labour shortage many places are experiencing,” he explains.

“We understand that newcomers have plenty of obstacles to overcome. They may not understand certain cultural practices that we have here. We don’t just want them to fill vacant jobs. We want them to build a long-term career, make a path, and develop relationships.”

Wiens feels that there is so much potential and opportunities ahead for newcomers and the end goal is to help them be successful in their careers and life.

“We don’t want people to feel like their stay here is transient or short-term. We want them to see that Grande Prairie is a great community where they can raise a family and engage in what’s going on here,” he adds.

The Council for Lifelong Learning also offers English as second language classes for those that need to improve their English-speaking skills. The initiative, which was founded in 1974 primarily focuses on education and learning for adults.

To learn more about the programs offered by the non-profit organization, visit

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