Immigrate Parkland

Published on Tuesday, 23 January 2024 08:09

Ask just about anyone responsible for staffing at any business - small, medium or large - and you are likely to hear of many difficulties in filling vacancies.

An inadequate workforce is a problem in most jurisdictions, including here in the Parkland, but a group of area municipalities have banded together to help address the problem in the area.

The City of Dauphin, RM of Dauphin, Grandview Municipality, Municipality of Gilbert Plains, Mossey River Municipality, Municipality of Ste Rose and Municipality of Roblin each provided $3,500 in seed money to run a one-year pilot project aimed at recruiting skilled workers and matching them directly with employment in the area.

Immigrate Parkland has been two years in the making, said Martijn van Luijn, City of Dauphin Economic Development manager and chair of the Parkland Immigration Committee, and with Saturday’s launch has set a goal of recruiting 40 to 50 workers in the first year.

“We have adopted terms of reference, have had monthly meetings, developed a new brand . . . and together with our partners, we’ve been working to build this project and to get it to launch today. So we’re ready for the next step and to start recruitment of skilled workers and bring them to the Parkland,” he said, adding the project has been supported from the beginning through strategic partnerships with Regional Connections, Rural Manitoba Economic Development Corporation and the Parkland Chamber of Commerce.

The Parkland Chamber of Commerce has been selected as the agency which will oversee Immigrate Parkland to ensure transparency and fairness in the process.

“We want every community to be part of this and for every community, every welding shop, every farm, every little mom and pop store to be able to tie into this program,” van Luijn said. “And to be able to have impartiality, the chamber of commerce actually popped up as the best agency for us to execute this program. We want to start slowly and build it up correctly and do it correctly. We’re looking forward to working with everyone in the future and we hope that in due time we can welcome many new families to our region.”

Forecasts predict the trend of labour shortages in all sectors will continue unless more skilled foreign workers are attracted to fill vacant positions. On hand for Saturday’s launch of Immigrate Parkland, Manitoba’s Minister of Labour and Immigration, Malaya Marcelino, said the Province is intrigued by the possibilities the program presents in addressing those challenges.

“(The Province of Manitoba is) just really excited that this is happening,” Marcelino said. “I hope that you are going to be able to go forward with a lot of success with this and that’s going to inspire other communities around you to say ‘wow, look what’s happenning in this region. Let’s try to replicate that’.”

Acknowledging the time and effort that was put into getting the project to this point, Marcelino said Immigrate Parkland is poised for success.

“Newcomers need their families in order to be successful. We know that newcomers need a welcoming community in order to be successful and we know that newcomers need jobs and jobs preferably in their field of study and in their experience,” she said. “When we have that kind of set up of their family, a welcoming community and jobs that they can actually succeed in, then it’s going to be a very, very good initiative and that we’re going to be seeing a lot of the things that we’re hoping for together as a community. I want to thank all of you for all the work that you put in and know that as a province we’re here to support you in this important endeavour and we’re here with you the whole way. As a new Immigration minister this actually means a lot to me as an immigrant myself. I came to this country as a young child with my parents and I know what it means to be able to come to a welcoming community and to be able to thrive and succeed and contribute to that economy and to that community. We’re going to be here for you when you need us.”

More about the program, and information needed to apply can be found at immigrateparkland.ca.



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Published in Dauphin Herald News