FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will invest $260,000 in the Fredericton YMCA to support newcomers in the Fredericton region.

"Your government wants to make newcomers feel welcome to New Brunswick and equip them with the skills they need to succeed," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. "Through this funding, we will provide them with the necessary resources to contribute to our communities and economy."

The funding, over two years, will help the YMCA develop employment action plans and provide employment counselling services to newcomers.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour’s Employment Assistance Services provides access to employment-related services for people facing barriers.

"The YMCA has always played a key role in welcoming newcomers," said Fredericton YMCA CEO Jason Dickson. "With this funding, we can continue to offer employment counseling and deliver the needed resources for newcomers to become contributing members of our community."

The government also recently announced that the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project is underway in New Brunswick. It is a three-year, employer-driven immigration program to attract and retain talented immigrants while supporting population growth and addressing labour shortages. The pilot project will welcome 2,000 additional immigrants and their families to the four Atlantic provinces, a key component of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. Immigration and population growth is also an important part of the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan.

Interested employers can find more information online about how to register and participate in the program.

The provincial and federal governments also signed the Canada-New Brunswick Immigration Agreement in Moncton last month during the first joint Forum on Francophone Immigration. The agreement supports New Brunswick in its goal to help fill labour shortages and grow the population by welcoming more immigrants, and also included the first francophone immigration annex in Canada.

The government also recently launched, a website that serves as an immigration hub for New Brunswickers, employers, and skilled foreign workers.