The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is thriving in Thunder Bay

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is thriving in Thunder Bay. Now more than halfway through the second year of the three-year Pilot, 138 foreign skilled workers have been recommended for permanent residence so far.

In Year 2 alone (January 2021 through present), 69 candidates have been recommended, spanning multiple occupations and industries:

  • Accommodation and food services (26 recommended candidates)
  • Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (1)
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (1)
  • Construction (3)
  • Healthcare & Social Assistance (12)
  • Manufacturing (3)
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (7)
  • Real Estate and rental and leasing (1)
  • Retail Trade (6)
  • Transportation (8)
  • Wholesale trade (1)

Emily Lauzon, Workforce Development Officer at Thunder Bay CEDC, says they are on track to achieve its goal of 150 recommendations before December 31st.  She also explains that employers are starting to see the benefit of having enough people and skills on their teams. To date, more than 80 local employers are actively using the RNIP to recruit and retain foreign skilled workers.

“The RNIP has been a key part of our employers’ human resources planning.  As our community faces stagnant population growth and an aging workforce, many organizations are proactively sourcing the right people to offset predicted labour shortages in the future. With the RNIP coming to a close at the end of 2022, employers are encouraged to explore this unique opportunity to secure the skilled workers necessary to satisfy their current staffing needs or prepare for upcoming retirements.”

Thunder Bay CEDC is hosting an employer information session on August 25th for local businesses who want to learn more about the RNIP and find out if it is a good fit for their hiring needs. Local employers can register at

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