Rural communities are seeing significant growth in immigration due to labour shortages in key industries and newcomers arriving through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP).
These smaller centres have unique challenges and opportunities in best serving their growing numbers of newcomers.
The Rural Settlement Network (RSN) is an NBMC-led initiative to bring together settlement agencies in seven rural and francophone centres: Sussex, Miramichi, Chipman, Campbellton, the Acadian Peninsula, Saint-Quentin, and Kent County.
Launched in the spring of 2020, this five-year pilot project aims to address gaps in settlement services in small centres and improve the quality and consistency of support to better serve and retain newcomers to these communities. The Network is a collaborative approach to fostering strong community connections and improving the settlement, integration, and well-being outcomes of newcomers in small towns.
The RSN aims to create an “economy of scale” approach to settlement in rural and francophone regions. It will streamline communications and information-sharing between communities. It will also expand services to newcomers, foster administrative effectiveness, and build capacity in growing rural agencies. The NBMC will focus on four pillars: employment-related supports, family/client-centered support, building community connections, and settlement sector enhancement.
The NBMC will provide coordination, training, materials, and develop common tools and resources to strengthen the quality and reach of settlement services and improve retention across the province.