Thunder Bay Business – The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) concluded its third year of administering the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) in 2022.
The Pilot began as a three-year program in 2019 and in 2022 the Pilot was extended to 2024. This extension also included the expansion of the program’s geographic reach to include communities outside of the original catchment of Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).
“The recent expansion of the program was welcomed by surrounding communities. Many employers from the new catchment area have already registered and are in the process of using the RNIP to help fill their labour gaps,” stated Stacey Platt, Workforce Development Officer, Thunder Bay CEDC. “We are pleased to see such a quick uptake from employers in the region. Their efforts in recruitment and retention go a long way to assist with newcomer settlement in our region.”
In 2022, the Thunder Bay CEDC surpassed its goal of selecting 250 foreign skilled workers for permanent residence with a total of 281 candidates successfully securing full-time, permanent positions with 144 businesses and organizations.
Top sectors included food services, retail and health care. Most of the candidates were already residing in the community, with only 24 coming from international locations, a number that will likely grow after the pandemic. Receiving a community recommendation under the Pilot allows these individuals and their families to apply for permanent resident status and settle in Thunder Bay and area permanently.
Since the inception of the Pilot in late 2019, Thunder Bay CEDC has assisted 213 eligible employers to recruit or retain more than 500 skilled workers, resulting in more than 700 newcomers to the area, a number that includes the successful applicants and their accompanying family members.
“There is no slowing down, the RNIP has huge potential to bring more skilled workers to the Northwest region,” says Jamie Taylor, CEO, Thunder Bay CEDC. “Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario is a great place to live and we anticipate a continuous increase of candidates in the 2023 allotment of recommendations from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)”
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) Thunder Bay and Area will wrap up in 2024.
To learn more about the program visit: gotothunderbay.ca/rnip