News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 23, 2022


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Investment Enables Regional Connections to provide Employment Training for Unemployed and Underemployed Residents of the Pembina Valley: Cullen

The Manitoba government is providing more than $516,000 to Regional Connections Inc. to deliver four projects to help address workforce shortages in the Pembina Valley, Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“The Manitoba government is committed to providing meaningful employment opportunities for all Manitobans, including residents of the Pembina Valley, and addressing the skills gap and workforce shortage in the area,” said Cullen. “Our government’s investment will enable Regional Connections to provide project-based employment services so unemployed and underemployed Manitobans living in the Pembina Valley can receive short-term skills development and on-the-job training to find and maintain purposeful employment.”

The four projects aim to serve nearly 400 unemployed and underemployed Manitobans from the Pembina Valley. The projects provide a range of services and diverse training, such as employment assistance for individuals who can find jobs with minimum supports, language training for employment and skills development training to address the skills gap and workforce shortage in the local labour market.

“As economic growth continues to drive community growth in the Pembina Valley, we know local employers are looking for skilled labour. This investment in Regional Connections means we will be able to help local unemployed or underemployed job seekers identify their goals, find good local jobs and upgrade their skills to become eligible for new opportunities,” said Steve Reynolds, executive director, Regional Connections. “Today’s announcement builds on years of successful employment programming and projects at Regional Connections that have supported hundreds of local residents towards meaningful employment. That good work will continue and be taken to the next level with this greatly appreciated new funding.”

The minister noted the projects include:

  • Employment Assistance Services Project: this project helps 325 unemployed and underemployed individuals, including immigrants, find and maintain employment in Morden, Winkler or Altona. The project uses a holistic service delivery approach in which clients have access to a wide range of services that support outcomes including settlement, employment, language and community connections.
  • Professional Bridging Program Project: this project helps 40 underemployed internationally educated individuals as they develop occupational-specific skills through English language training, professional certification in the regulated fields of their interest (accounting, medical services or engineering) and bridging support to connect with the labour market.
  • Employer-Driven Curriculum Development Project: through this project, Regional Connections Inc. aims to develop a program curriculum for the Gateway to Work Experience for Newcomers (GWEN) pilot project, supporting 24 unemployed or underemployed newcomers. The project will develop modular courses in the welding, manufacturing and hospitality sectors and a workplace-specific coaching and mentoring component.
  • Gateway to Work Experience for Newcomers (GWEN): the project will help address workforce shortages in welding, manufacturing and hospitality sectors in the Pembina Valley. This project will provide an opportunity for 24 unemployed or underemployed individuals to:

- prepare to work in an entry-level position in the welding, manufacturing and hospitality sectors;

- understand the Canadian work environment; and

- gain work experience and maintain sustainable employment in those three sectors in the Pembina Valley.

For more information on Regional Connections, visit

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