Northwestern Ontario to benefit from immigrant attraction and settlement matchmaker program

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THUNDER BAY – Working closely with employment agencies, job developers and businesses in need of new talent, Northern Policy Institute is hoping its two new community matchmakers can connect immigrants and newcomers with Northwestern Ontario companies and organizations in need of skilled workers. This matchmaking project is made possible thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $50,000 announced today by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The two community matchmakers will work to connect job seekers not currently in Canada, or those arriving at various immigration centres and/or looking to relocate within Canada, with employers in the region. One of the matchmakers will focus primarily on international students and the francophone community, and the other at potential immigrants. The matchmakers will work directly with businesses to assist them in navigating and participating in immigrant and migrant settlement and attraction services and facilitate access to and awareness of job matching, payroll subsidy programs, and other employment supports. The project is expected to provide a potential template for other communities to follow to address local skills gaps.

“Communities throughout rural and northern Canada are important to the growth and prosperity of our country. Regional economic development is a priority of our government, and we will continue to seek out innovative solutions to help build strong and sustainable communities, and support initiatives that deliver positive results for all Canadians,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor.

“Northwestern Ontario needs more skilled workers, particularly in small and rural communities. Immigration will help address this need. FedNor and the Northern Policy Institute along with their stakeholders, are doing the hard work to attract newcomers and help local employers find the skilled talent they need”, says Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North.

“Our research has identified a significant gap in the services available to match international talent with jobs available locally. Thanks to FedNor’s assistance, we intend to work at closing that gap. We will team up with local businesses and stakeholders to bolster immigration to the area in order to help employers find employees with the skills they require”, says Charles Cirtwill, President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute.

Quick Facts

  • The recently released Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario outline the Government of Canada’s approach to ensuring the region can fully benefit from the national Innovation and Skills Plan. It is focused on three key economic development areas: supporting innovation; growing companies; and building stronger communities.
  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

Related Links 

  • To find out more about our programs and services, please visit: fednor.gc.ca