Region to attract highly skilled immigrants through grants

Regional Chair Alan Caslin is pleased to announce Thursday Aug. 31/2017 that Niagara Region is the recipient of a $35,000 grant from Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and an additional $20,000 from the Local Immigration Partnership, a Federal program.

These grants will fund the strategic redevelopment of the Region’s online immigration portal, a key marketing tool that will be used to grow Niagara’s economy through the attraction of highly qualified immigrants.

The development of a strategy to bolster Niagara’s global attractiveness is one of Regional Council’s strategic priority projects for the 2015 – 2018 term and these grants directly supports that goal. Attracting “economic class” immigrants, which include highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs, will have a positive effect on Niagara’s economy by growing the population, increasing the tax base and enhancing the Region’s cultural experience.

Compared to the national average of 7.5 per cent, immigrants comprise only 4 per cent of Niagara’s current population. Competition for qualified workers is both global and intense and will continue to impact Niagara’s ability to develop and expand its existing businesses and attract new investment. Ensuring the Region can attract a larger share of the highly skilled immigrants that choose to come to Canada is critical to Niagara’s success in staying competitive on the world stage.

In addition to addressing Council’s aim to improve global attractiveness, the revamped portal will also align with the current immigration policies of the federal and provincial governments. The portal will focus on marketing the strengths and opportunities of moving to Niagara and opening a business here.

The portal will meet the needs of a number of audiences including international students who are considering staying in Niagara after their post-secondary education is over, potential immigrants considering a location for their new business, and newcomers that are looking to find information to better settle and make a home in Niagara.​

“These grants will be put to excellent use building the resources and materials needed to tell Niagara’s story to the talented immigrants arriving to Canada,” said Regional Chair Alan Caslin. “Our region offers many advantages and benefits that can’t be readily found anywhere else in the country, which are only enhanced by our high quality of life. The redeveloped portal will play a key role in our efforts to attract highly qualified immigrants and ensure we remain competitive with peers across the country.”

Source – Niagara Region press release

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