FREDERICTON (GNB) – Combined investments of more than $400,000 by the provincial and federal governments will help NouLAB at the University of New Brunswick’s Pond-Deshpande Centre research ways to increase immigrant retention.

“Your government recognizes the importance of retaining immigrants who land and settle in New Brunswick,” said Labour, Employment and Population Growth Minister Gilles LePage. “Newcomers from all over the world are considering making New Brunswick their home; to be part of our growing communities as valuable participants in our workforce and in helping to build the fabric of our communities. We are pleased to support NouLAB’s research as increased immigration can help meet skills shortages in our province and move our economy forward.”

NouLAB, which is a joint venture of the Pond-Deshpande Centre and the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network, will carry out its work in co-operation with new Canadians, settlement agencies, municipalities, universities and the public.

The provincial government is providing $222,000 through the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour while the federal government is contributing $190,000 under the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program.

“The work being done by the Pond-Deshpande Centre’s NouLAB will give us valuable insights into the complex immigrant retention challenges we face in New Brunswick,” said Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey. “Having the information we need to develop new solutions to these challenges will help us make the right decisions and implement the right strategies to ensure that we can continue building strong, inclusive and thriving communities by addressing skill shortages, growing our population, and developing and diversifying our economy.”

DeCourcey attended for federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also the minister responsible for ACOA.

These investments build on the federal and provincial governments’ Atlantic Growth Strategy, which aims to drive economic growth in the region through initiatives such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project.