Norfolk County’s Tourism and Economic Development Department in collaboration with the Newcomer Centre of Peel (NCP) hosted Norfolk County’s first Newcomer Bus Tour in June. The bus tour is an opportunity to introduce new immigrants to Canada who have landed in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (but would prefer relocating to rural areas) an opportunity to tour new communities.
NCP is a government-funded multi-service charitable non-profit organization that assists the entire newcomer family in achieving settlement and integration within the Region of Peel and beyond. With experience and expertise in English-language training; employability and business start-up and comprehensive settlement services including programs for women, youth, children, adults and seniors; NCP offers culturally diverse and proactive results, addressing the needs of the newcomer population.
The bus tour is one of the tactics implemented by the Tourism and Economic Development Department to address the chronic shortage of skilled workers in Norfolk County. Through the department’s Business Visitation program, many of our local businesses reported they were experiencing serious difficulty finding workers for technical and professional job postings. The tour promoted Norfolk County as a community to live and work for the 45 new Canadians that were in attendance.
Staff is currently working with some attendees of the tour to match them with other local businesses who are interested in meeting with them.
The Immigration Bus Tour is one of the first tangible outcomes of the Economic Development Strategy approved by Council in June 2019. One of the Strategic Directions is “Welcome Youth and Newcomers to Grow the Population and Workforce”. Under the Focus Area of “Attract New Residents”, related recommendation in the strategy were to “Collaborate with immigration programs to attract new employees” and to “Attract newcomers by collaborating with agencies, employers, realtors and builders”.