June 24, 2016 - 5:00 PM
Penticton - How welcoming is Penticton to newcomers? What can a community do to be more welcoming? This past weekend the city sponsored and took part in the Welcoming Communities Summit 2016 hosted by the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services to help shed light on those issues. Participation in these forums is just one of the initiatives underway as the city strives to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
The Welcome Summit highlighted the increased demands the region has for skilled labour and made several links to how immigration can improve Penticton’s competitiveness in a global world. Several Summit speakers offered insights on how welcoming newcomers can improve our economy and increase our resident base.
Building on the vision and ideas from the Welcome Summit, the city would like to challenge all people within the community and all businesses to assess how welcoming they are and to consider how to contribute to this worthwhile goal.
For our part, the city is reviewing its policy and practices across the organization to look for opportunities to improve diversity and inclusion as an employer including hiring, policies, communications and facilities. Our goal is to eliminate bias, either intentional or unintentional for all including gender, age, physical ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Specific actions have also been identified such as supporting cultural festivals, joining with the Community Foundation on a Small Grants program and celebrating Okanagan Pride Week.
“Fostering diversity makes us a better place to live for everyone” said Mayor Jakubeit, “We want to create a sense of belonging so people stay.”
Welcome Summit 2016 was an initiative of the Local Immigrant Partnership (LIP) Council to which the city contributes. The aim is to ensure newcomers to our community feel welcome, find employment and integrate well into the community. Through partnerships like that with the LIP Council, the South Okanagan Immigrant Council, the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and Tourism Penticton, the city is developing common goals and continued actions towards diversity and inclusion. For more information on how community members and businesses can foster diversity and help to grow our community, visit www.soics.ca.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016