Thunder Bay CEDC Exceeds Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) 2021 Target

February 9, 2022 – Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is concluding its second year of administering the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP). The RNIP is a three-year program designed to spread the benefits of immigration to smaller communities by creating a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to live in Thunder Bay.

Thunder Bay CEDC surpassed its goal of selecting 150 immigrants for permanent residency in 2021, made possible by an increased allotment from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). By the end of the year, 162 applicants had secured full-time permanent jobs in sectors experiencing significant labour shortages. Of those workers, 134 already resided in Thunder Bay and had strong connections to the community. These individuals and their family members can now apply for permanent resident status and resettle in Thunder Bay permanently.

Since launching the program in early 2020, Thunder Bay CEDC has assisted 113 eligible employers in recruiting or retaining skilled workers, estimated to result in 358 newcomers to Thunder Bay, including the successful applicants and their families.

Emily Lauzon, Workforce Development Officer at Thunder Bay CEDC, says participating employers value the skills and expertise that foreign workers bring to the table. 80 new organizations registered to use the RNIP in 2021.

Employers do not receive any special treatment, additional funding, or subsidies by participating in the RNIP. Yet, many employers show great dedication to their employees by assisting with resettlement, securing accommodations for them, and educating staff about intercultural competency.

“Employers’ efforts go a long way in helping newcomers put down roots in our community,” tells Lauzon. “As we strive to increase the local population, we need to establish best practices for newcomer retention. When employers invest in their employees, they are laying a solid foundation for growth in Thunder Bay.”

To date, the number of recommendations made in each sector are as follows: Accommodation and Food Services (71)

Health Care and Social Assistance (60) Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (25) Retail Trade (20)

Transportation and Warehousing (13)

Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (10) Manufacturing (9)

Other Services (5)

Construction (5)

Public Administration (4)

Wholesale Trade (3)

Educational Services (2)

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (1) Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (1)

Lauzon anticipates continued success in Year 3 (January through December 2022), with the potential for an even more significant increase in employers and future applicants. The RNIP concludes at the end of 2022.

Thunder Bay CEDC is hosting an employer information session on March 3rd for local organizations 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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