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The Co-operators announces grants to seven organizations supporting Syrian refugees

May 5, 2016

GUELPH, ON, May 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, The Co-operators announced donations totalling $260,000 to seven organizations as part of its nation-wide effort to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada. The funding comes from a special one-time grant program announced in December that was created through The Co-operators Foundation's Community Economic Development Funds to support initiatives aimed at preparing refugees for employability in Canada.

"With thousands of refugees coming to Canada, many organizations and individuals are pitching in to welcome them and support their integration into Canadian society," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "We are pleased to support these outstanding organizations that provide much-needed employment readiness services to immigrants and refugees in their communities."

Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area, Moncton ($30,000)
Funding from The Co-operators will be used to support the workplace integration of Syrian newcomers into the local labour market in the Moncton area. A workplace integration facilitator will deliver pre-employment workshops, occupation-specific language and skills instruction, and on-the-job training and support.

Centre d'appui aux communautés immigrantes, Montreal ($30,000)
CACI provides services for the integration of immigrants in Montreal, and works with several organizations to provide work and training opportunities. Individual consultations as well as group workshops will help Syrian refugees develop skills, action plans and career goals to prepare them for the Canadian workforce.

Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington, Guelph, Ont. ($40,000)
With the help of this funding, Immigrant Services will help prepare refugees in the Guelph area for future financial independence. A continuum of employment-focused services, including basic computer and communication skills; workshops on the Canadian workplace; and pre-employment placement will enable refugees with low-English skills to become familiar with and effectively enter the job market.

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba, Winnipeg ($40,000)
Winnipeg's IRCOM has been helping newcomer families settle successfully in Manitoba for more than 30 years. The financial support of The Co-operators Foundation will enable newcomer Syrian families to gain needed employability skills and get their first exposure to the Canadian workplace.

Regina Open Door Society, Regina ($40,000)
The funding will help the Regina Open Door Society offer a series of employability workshops to prepare literacy and low-level language clients for the transition into the workforce. Clients will be encouraged to begin their Canadian work experience by building on their transferable skills, gaining a new understanding of job search practices and being introduced to Canadian workplace culture.

Calgary Immigrant Women's Association, Calgary ($40,000)
CIWA aims to increase the employability and employment readiness of Syrian refugee women in Calgary through a customized wrap-around approach to addressing their employment-related needs. Services include career planning, basic needs supports, individualized employment counselling, and skill-building workshops with a focus on English skills enhancement and connections to the labour market.

DIVERSEcity, Surrey, B.C. ($40,000)
With the funding announced today, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society of Surrey, B.C. will be able to deliver an Employment & Self-Employment Readiness Program to support Syrian refugees' successful economic integration in Canada.

About The Co-operators
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information visit

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, (519) 767-3937

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