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Matchmaker program to connect newcomers with businesses

FedNor providing $50,000 to facilitate program

A new matchmaking program in northwestern Ontario will aim to connect immigrants and newcomers with companies and organizations in need of skilled workers.

The program, an initiative of the Northern Policy Institute, snagged $50,000 from FedNor to help facilitate the matches.

“Our research has identified a significant gap in the services available to match international talent with jobs available locally. Thanks to FedNor’s assistance, we intend to work at closing that gap,” said Charles Cirtwill, president and CEO at the Northern Policy Institute, in a Feb. 6 news release.

“We will team up with local businesses and stakeholders to bolster immigration to the area in order to help employers find employees with the skills they require.”

According to the release, two community matchmakers will work to connect job seekers not currently in Canada, or those arriving at various immigration centres and/or looking to relocate within Canada, with employers in the region. One of the matchmakers will focus primarily on international students and the francophone community, and the other at potential immigrants.

The matchmakers will work directly with businesses to assist them in navigating and participating in immigrant and migrant settlement and attraction services, and facilitate access to and awareness of job matching, payroll subsidy programs, and other employment supports.

The project is expected to provide a potential template for other communities to follow to address local skills gaps. 

Funding for the program is being provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.