More newcomers applied — and were accepted — to relocate to Timmins in 2021, according to the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC).
Following the completion of the second full year of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), the organization reported receiving more than 120 applications last year, compared to 60 in 2020, and issued 106 community recommendations to candidates in 2021, compared to 41 in the previous year.
Audrey Penner, chair of the TEDC's board of directors, called the boost in activity "wonderful.”
“The word is out and employers and job-seekers alike are eager to use the pilot to fill employment gaps within the city," she said in a Jan. 19 statement.
Announced by the federal government in 2019, RNIP is a five-year project aimed at attracting foreign skilled workers to underserviced areas to help fill labour needs and build economic development.
Timmins was one of 11 communities chosen to participate in the pilot, along with Northern Ontario's other four major cities: North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay.
According to the TEDC, in 2021, 33 per cent of candidates applying had occupations in social, community, and government services, while 29 per cent held positions in sales and service occupations.
Since the Timmins pilot launched in April 2020, 37 per cent of the majority of candidates have been employed in the health care and social assistance sector (37%), followed by the accommodation and food services sector (22%), and the retail trade sector (18%).
In the third year of the pilot, the TEDC said, it has a total of 150 recommendations that can be issued in 2022.
Employers interested in learning more or participating in the pilot can contact the TEDC.