Meet Philip, an immigrant with many years of education and professional experience who came with his wife and young son to Calgary with his luggage, savings and dreams. An engineer by profession, he was unable to immediately land a job in his field. Philip wasted no time juggling his time between survival jobs. His relationship with his family started to suffer as he came home every day, feeling exhausted, downhearted, and at times, feeling humiliated at the thought that he will not be able to live his dream as a successful professional in Calgary. Acknowledging his dilemma, he welcomed the offer of support from the Centre for Newcomers.
At the Centre Philip and his wife upgraded their English language skills, worked with settlement and employment services staff to address their priorities. Inspired, and armed with his career plan, Philip pursued and finished a training course related to his profession. He continued to connect with the Centre as he applied for jobs. Though worried and down to their last $15, he received the good news, a job offer! Now a successful Project Co-ordinator for an Oil and Gas company, his success did not come easily. It took some time, risks and sacrifices.
“Thanks to a devoted team of professionals at the Centre for Newcomers. My family cannot thank you enough for the advice and suggestions to help me set my priorities. My wife has now adjusted to the new routine, working part time and being the super mom and wife. My son is now in school. If not for the career counselling and guidance, I will probably be taking a 3rd or 4th job to make ends meet.”
Every year, nearly 20,000 newcomers with diverse backgrounds arrive in Calgary to seek a new life and to be part of building a dynamic community. These newcomers bring with them rich, cultural, professional, personal and educational experiences and are eager to make valuable contributions to this prosperous and global city. Yet many need support to settle and integrate into their new community successfully. As a catalyst to achieve successful settlement and integration, the Centre partners with government and communities to provide life-changing services that build connections, create opportunities and promote participation and citizenship to the increasing number of newcomer families, children and individuals who call Calgary their home every year.