The Local Immigration Partnership program helps businesses, organizations and municipalities build strategies to attract newcomers. We do this by providing evidence based research through statistical data and story-telling from newcomers and community champions that demonstrates the needs and benefits of immigration attraction in rural communities.
We present this information at community forums, municipal meetings and strategic planning sessions so that organizations and employer groups can learn more about our work and ultimately initiate activities that help immigrants settle in our area. This work also includes referring organizations to training opportunities that can assist them in reaching their goals to be more inclusive.
Through our research we know that employment is a primary consideration for immigrants when choosing a community to live in. We also know that there are significant labour market shortages in several sectors within the Lanark and Renfrew County regions, as confirmed by the Lanark-Renfrew Labour Market Group, but newcomers often struggle to secure jobs.
We work to educate employers on the common issues that newcomers face when pursuing employment opportunities. These include not having their foreign work experience and educational credentials recognized by employers, bias among organizations when reviewing their resumes, language barriers and difficulty securing references. For new immigrants a lack of Canadian work experience is also a challenge.
For most international post-secondary students, their primary goal upon graduation is to immigrate to Canada. This creates a wonderful opportunity for the community to work with Algonquin College’s Perth and Pembroke Campuses to provide additional support to international students to help them transition to their new communities.
Much of our work focuses on building momentum for more immigration to rural communities, and helping decision makers, community champions and municipal leaders better understand the challenges and opportunities to attract newcomers. By sharing what we have learned through our research and work with newcomers, international students, sponsorship agencies, and other Local Immigration Partnership sites, we aim to clearly articulate that newcomer attraction is vital to the short and long term prosperity of Lanark and Renfrew Counties.
Contact us if your organization is interested in learning more about the benefits of newcomer attraction or the efforts being made to create welcoming communities in Lanark and Renfrew Counties.