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Immigration pilot draws 21 newcomers to North Bay

Proponents "extremely pleased" at results following first full year of five-year initiative

A project to entice immigrants to the North Bay area appears to be working.

North Bay, in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, has entered into an agreement with the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot project. The project encourages economic growth and the development of the North Bay workforce by hiring skilled foreign workers for positions that are going unfilled locally.

The city is one of 11 communities nationwide chosen to participate in the project. All five of Northern Ontario's major cities — North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, and Thunder Bay — were selected for the pilot when it was announced in 2019.

Since its inception in 2020, the North Bay RNIP project has accepted 21 people that have now received their permanent Canadian residency. Of the 21, 11 were principal applicants, and the remaining 10 were dependents of the principal applicants.

Peter Chirico, president of the local Chamber of Commerce, welcomes the news.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of our first full year with the RNIP program. Starting a pilot project in the middle of a pandemic has been challenging, but the program has been well received by our business community and we couldn’t be more pleased with the success to date," Chirico said.

"Working with our partners in the community, and especially YES Employment, we are providing assistance to those employers who are in need of this service and growing our communities.”

A local online job board currently lists over 600 job vacancies for North Bay and area, approximately 40 per cent of which are full-time positions in professions that are considered to be in high demand, such as healthcare and the trades.

The project continues to accept applicants and aims to assist additional businesses in the North Bay area with filling employment gaps with skilled foreign workers.

Any organizations that are interested in hiring through the RNIP project, should visit this website to learn more and speak with the RNIP coordinator. Webinars are also hosted on a monthly basis to provide more information to employers, and can be accessed via the Yes Employment Services Facebook page.

Each of the 11 communities across the country is participating in the pilot have tailored its immigration program to meet the economic goals and to develop their local economy.

— BayToday