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Cardston hosts Rural Renewal Employer and Community Learning Luncheon on May 15

Posted on May 9, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cemeron
Westwind Weekly News

Cardston’s Council Chambers will play host to a Rural Renewal Employer and Community Learning Luncheon from 11 a.m. to approximately 1:30 p.m. on May 15.

“For this specific event, participants should leave with positive strategies regarding newcomer mental health in the workplace, and the value of mentorship,” said Rylan Howard, Economic Development Assistant and AAIP Coordinator with the Town of Taber.

Howard also said that from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., there will be a presentation on “The Cost of Mental Health in the Workplace” followed by free lunch from 12:00 – 12:30, then a discussion on “The Value of Mentorship” from 12:30 to 1:30 will conclude the day.

These sessions, Howard said, are responsible for facilitating the events and they have previously been hosted in Taber, Coaldale, Milk River, online, and once before in Cardston. 

“Historically, our sessions have either been regarding the process of hiring through Rural Renewal, or simply a round-table discussion about the program in our community,” said Howard. “From my perspective, the opportunity for networking and open discussion is one of the greatest strengths of these events. We often have representatives from multiple service groups contribute, which gives employers the ability to connect with these organizations in a way that is easy and convenient.”

Howard said, “the Manager of Taber Economic Development, Amy Allred, conceptualizes monthly information sessions regarding the Rural Renewal program in different communities, but as a team, they choose which dates, topics and locations would be effective for them to provide presentations.”

“We have been able to build a strong network of educated employers and community groups in the Town of Taber,” said Howard. “This year, we want to use that template of success in all our designated communities to learn, collaborate and grow. Many employers may have been previously unaware that this program is available. Before these events began, many service groups were unaware that newcomers are arriving in our communities through Rural renewal. So, these events have helped spread awareness. Our open discussions have been highly valuable as employers provide excellent insight. It can be hard for us to predict what supports they truly need, and their information can help community and service group leaders understand how to help them best.”

Attendees, Howard says, can RSVP by emailing, or at   

“We are proud to facilitate discussion regarding such an important topic.  It also provides us a great opportunity to meet the employers in person, many of whom have excellent insight,” said Howard. “We are also happy to foster collaboration among service group leaders under the same goal of building welcoming communities for newcomers.”

The next Rural Renewal Employer and Community Learning Luncheon is scheduled for June 19, 2024, in Taber.

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