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Municipality hopes to attract GTA immigrant job seekers

The County has partnered with the Rural Employment Initiative (REI) program, which aims to connect newcomers to Canada with job openings in smaller Ontario communities.

“Youth from these communities are leaving for the big cities to study and when they finish school, they don’t go back,” says Oliver Pryce, the project’s co-ordinator. “These communities have all these unmet labour market needs. We are hoping to fill these gaps with newcomers who are willing to relocate and work outside of Greater Toronto.”

For Prince Edward County, the needs are even greater, says Neil Carbone, the County’s director of community development.

“The Community Development Department’s Business Retention and Expansion Study (BR+E) showed more than 60 per cent of County businesses have expansion plans. This growth, however, has resulted in more than 80 per cent of employers facing hiring challenges, double the provincial average, according to a the study. The result is that many County business owners are deciding not to expand, simply because they cannot find the help they need.”

The BR+E study identified workforce attraction as a significant priority, said Carbone. “The Rural Employment Initiative is well aligned with the needs and dovetails well with other workforce development efforts.”

Bill Roberts, Chair of the Community and Economic Development Commission (CEDC), notes that “since conducting the BR+E study, the CEDC has made workforce attraction one of its key priorities. This initiative helps educate newcomers on the opportunities found east of the GTA.

“The County offers an amazing quality of life compared to city life. We want to promote our
community as a welcoming and inclusive destination and promote the value of diversity.”

This trend, he said, is evident with the County’s ‘Build a New Life’ investment and resident
attraction website featuring more than 90 stories of individuals who have moved or returned to the County. The website, he said, now receives more traffic from the GTA than from the County.

As part of the REI, the County participated in a job fair at City Hall in Mississauga on May 30.
The job fair attracted more than 600 skilled and experienced professionals, looking for employment in rural Ontario specifically. The County was joined by neighbouring municipalities from Eastern Ontario including Hastings County, Belleville, Quinte West, and Lennox & Addington.

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  1. loulou says:

    thats great………but where will new employees live? right now there is a shortage of affordable rental homes or apartments. I dont think they are offereing HUGE payments so they cant buy an expesnive house etc
    someallow boarding at the farms. but many dont have rooms

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