The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce says local employers are benefiting from hiring skilled foreign workers.
Over 150 businesses have taken part in the North Bay and Area Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), which was established to assist them in filling the gaps in their labour needs.
Donna Backer, Chamber President and CEO, says they’re very pleased with the results of the second year of the program with 143 community recommendations approved and eighty applicants receiving their permanent residence.
That brings the total to 164 receiving their permanent residence since the area pilot was established in 2020.
“It’s a win-win for them, it’s a win-win for our community because they’re working here, they bring dependants, they bring spouses and they’re contributing to the economy which is what we need,” says Backer.
The partnership between the Chamber and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) also expanded this past year – stretching from Mattawa to West Nipissing and Burks Falls to Temagami.
“We’ll be going out and probably promoting the program a little bit more to people and businesses that don’t know about it,” Backer says. “We want them to be aware that this is something for their toolkit to be able to help with their labour shortages and get them to the capacity that they need to be at.”
She says those interested in getting involved in the program, both employers and applicants, can visit www.northbayrnip.ca to learn more and review the eligibility requirements.
The pilot runs through 2024 and Backer says they’re hopeful it will become a permanent program.