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From the Desk of Chamber CEO Jill Raycroft

On Tuesday this week, I had the pleasure of representing the Chamber at Loyalist College's Employer's Appreciation Breakfast.  My history with Loyalist is a long one and in spite of how the building has changed and grown in the past 7 years, it still feels a bit like going home when I pull into the parking lot - so I love an opportunity to visit.

Employment Services put together a great presentation of their services and the number of ways they help their graduates secure employment - thanking those in the audience for their support of Loyalist graduates.  

The Career Centre provides a variety of services and resources that support students and alumni in their career exploration, planning, job search and career development.  If you aren't aware of the many services they offer to you as an employer, please reach out to the office at

We were also reminded of the growing international cohort of students coming to Loyalist - they are anticipating more than 300 students arriving this Fall. While the growth is great news, the students coming do have challenges with housing and employment.  Given the low vacancy rate in our area and the costs of rent - students are having trouble locating places to stay and Loyalist has asked me to reach out to you for help.  Immigration is essential to the growth of our country and community right now - and one of the best ways to recruit the best talent from afar is through education.  Most of the students coming have already completed some level of post-secondary education in their homeland and are using the education here to prepare them for a career in Canada.  

Many of the students also find out at the last minute their visa has been approved and come to Belleville without any opportunity to research housing options and have limited funds (after paying travel and tuition costs).  If you have housed or billeted students before or will consider doing so, contact Jodie Russett at - (subject: I can help with student housing)

These students are also eligible to work up to 20 hours/week on their student visa and also look for summer employment.  

Welcoming these students - who've left their friends, family and familiarity - into our community with open arms is our opportunity to help them choose Belleville as their future forever home.