The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is a non-profit, non-partisan, charitable organization committed to advancing the full social and economic integration and participation of newcomers, immigrants, refugees, and people of Chinese descent in the City of Ottawa.
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre ensures that the values of client-based professionalism, inclusiveness and commitment are implicit in all agency operations.
History and Introduction
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC) was established in December 1975 and incorporated provincially on November 19, 1976, by a small group of community-minded local Chinese Canadians in response to the unmet social services and integration needs of many Chinese immigrants who were largely from the rural areas in the Guangdong Province. The formation of the Centre was made possible with a small grant from the former federal Department of Manpower and Immigration.
During the 1970′s, more Chinese from Hong Kong were settling in the Ottawa area. Near the end of the 1970′s and 1980′s, a large number of ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam came to Ottawa, either sponsored by private groups or the federal government. As a result, demands for our services more than doubled.
During the 1980′s, OCCSC was successful in acquiring funding from all three levels of government to provide more services to our clients. In addition to settlement funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, OCCSC also secured funding from the Department of Secretary of State, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and the City of Ottawa, to create a women’s program, more settlement services and a counselling service. In 1989, the first English language training program called the Settlement Language Program was established. This program was later renamed Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada or LINC, which currently operates 16 classes.
The 1990′s witnessed the largest immigration from Mainland China as a result of the Chinese government’s openness in its economic and population polices. Large numbers of Chinese immigrants, with advanced educational backgrounds, came to Canada, taking advantage of Canada’s rapid development in the high-tech sector. Before long, OCCSC created the Job Search Program to help Mainland Chinese newcomers look for jobs in the high-tech sector in the national capital.
In the new millennium, OCCSC continues to tailor its programs and services in response to the needs of newcomers and upgrading its delivery system by creating satellite offices in public libraries and resource centres outside the downtown core. Currently, satellite offices have been established in Kanata, Barrhaven, Nepean and Gloucester.
In November 2006, OCCSC moved to 381 Kent Street. New programs such as a pan-Canadian employment initiative known as Mentorship in Action (MIA), working with employers to create multicultural, inclusive workplaces and the offering of high tech and accounting job bridging programs, has expanded our scope of services to meet the needs of both newcomers and employers. In response to the increasing number of newcomers settling in Ottawa’s suburbs of Kanata and Barrhaven, several settlement workers from our centre have been actively working with local service providers such as the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre in Kanata and the South Nepean Community Health Centre in Barrhaven delivering settlement information sessions, organizing parental groups, hosting social and cultural events and support groups for newcomer youth, women and seniors.
In view of the increasing demand for settlement services from the Chinese and other newcomer communities, OCCSC moved to its present location at 400 Cooper Street Suite 2000 in April, 2016 and has committed itself to a process of modernization to streamline our programs and services in order to better manage our growth and development to meet emerging community needs.
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