The City of Grande Prairie will now be able to endorse local businesses looking to fill local labour gaps after being granted a Rural Renewal Stream community designation through the provincial government.
The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, according to City of Grande Prairie Economic Development Manager Rebecca Dodd, provides the municipality the opportunity to work with local employers to endorse immigrant job seekers and fast-track them to permanent residency.
“To work with the employers and endorse those employers to and say yes, they have the capacity to bring newcomers to the community, hire them into full time, permanent jobs and fill a labour skills gap. Also, that they’re able to provide the support so that the newcomers to the community will be successful in their new life here in Grande Prairie,” she adds.
Dodd says the local Rural Renewal Stream Community partnership involved the city, the Grande Prairie Centre for Newcomers, Council for Lifelong Learning, Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. She adds the municipality, and the region in general is well positioned to take full advantage of the program rolled out by the provincial and federal governments.
“We have all the supports of a major urban centre, but we are still that small community feel, so we are able to connect with those newcomers and make they’re able to be connected to some of our service providers,” she adds.
Other Alberta municipalities that received Rural Renewal Stream community designation include Whitecourt, Brooks and Taber.