Coming Together on Immigration: Community Matchmakers Are on the Job for YouJune 2018
Charla Robinson, President
In recent years, the lack of community growth combined with our aging population has been identified as a gathering storm that will have a significant impact on our capacity to function as we have in the past. School boards and post-secondary educational institutions are projecting declining enrollments and realigning resources to adjust while employers are already challenged to find the skilled and non-skilled workers that they require. Projections by the North Superior Workforce Planning Board and the Northern Policy Institute show that the percentage of citizens of working age is on the decline and we need to attract thousands of new residents to our city in order to maintain current employment.
For decades, the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association has been quietly working behind the scenes to attract International newcomers and assist them with settling into our community. Over the past 2 years, I have witnessed a significant rallying of community leaders to help in these efforts. Confederation College, Lakehead University and our local school boards are all engaged in international student attraction and retention to grow their student numbers. The Community Economic Development Commission, the Northern Policy Institute, the North Superior Workforce Planning Board, the Northern Ontario Francophone Immigration Support Network, Common Voice Northwest, your Chamber of Commerce and others are working with the Multicultural Association to develop action plans and policy recommendations that will help us entice immigrant newcomers and support them in building a new life here.
A big piece of this action plan is the creation of two Matchmaker advisors to help connect employers with qualified international job seekers and to provide the timely support needed to manage the immigration process for both employers and employees. These Matchmakers are now in place, thanks to a collaboration between the CEDC, the Northern Policy Institute, the Société Économique de l’Ontario (SÉO), the North Superior Workforce Planning Board/Local Employment Planning Council and your Chamber’s Economic Development Fund.
What is needed now is YOU! In order to be successful, we need employers to connect with these Matchmakers so that they can help you find the qualified workers you need. For more information, please visit http://www.northernpolicy.ca/communitymatchmaker or email Yaye Peukasse, Employability and Entrepreneurship Counsellor. Working together, we can strengthen our workforce and grow our community.