TIMMINS, ON – The Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) has concluded its first year of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program. Receiving over 60 applications, the TEDC issued 41 community recommendations to applicants in support of their application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent resident status. The recommendations issued to candidates span a variety of industries and sectors including health care, community and education services, information technology, and food services.
“We are thrilled with the response from the first year,” said Fred Gibbons, Chair of the TEDC Board of Directors. “Not only are these individuals filling employment gaps within the city, but many applicants are Northern College graduates and have been living in Timmins for a few years already, actively contributing to the community,” Gibbons added.
In 2019, Timmins was selected as one of 11 communities from across Canada to participate in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. The pilot is designed to spread the benefits of economic immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to work and live in Timmins. The TEDC is assisting employers using the pilot to address labour demands and fill positions that they have been struggling to fill with Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
“The RNIP program has been very beneficial for the YMCA of Timmins,” shared Courtney Berlinghoff, Regional Manager of the YMCA of Timmins, acknowledging the organization has struggled to find qualified employees in the past. “Through this program we have been able to hire employees with their Early Childhood Education diplomas and who are registered with the College of ECEs. This has allowed us to continue to serve the child care needs in our community and continue to offer high quality care to families. Our international staff continue to positively contribute to our organization,” said Berlinghoff.
Local grocery retailer Pick of the Crop has also benefited from the immigration pilot. “Hiring foreign employees has allowed us to fill some key positions that we had struggled to fill, and in turn has helped us to grow our business,” said Store Manager Isabelle Godmaire.
The Timmins pilot has received a lot of interest with nearly 3,000 inquiries coming from around the world from people interested in finding a job and settling in Timmins. In the second year of the pilot, the TEDC has a total of 150 recommendations that can be issued in 2021. The community criteria has also been updated in order to better identify candidates who fit the community’s needs and intend to reside in Timmins long term.
A survey is being conducted to gather feedback on RNIP and what supports employers may need in order to participate in the program. The survey can be accessed here.
Employers interested in learning more or participating in the pilot can contact the TEDC.
For more information, please contact Kelsey Luxton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (705) 360-2656.
About the TEDC
The TEDC is the city’s non-profit community economic development team. We facilitate and support economic and social activity that creates jobs, diversifies the economy and improves quality of life.