April 6, 2017 | 60 minutes

Outside the Big City: Attracting & Retaining Immigrant Talent in Rural Areas

Archived webinar featured on April 6, 2017

Many small communities across the country have been successful in attracting immigrants by emphasizing available career opportunities, a path to upward mobility, and the opportunity to make a life for themselves, and their families in these thriving communities. Still, many rural areas have difficulty attracting and retaining immigrants, and looking ahead, now more than ever they need immigrants to not only come, but stay.

What are some strategies that work, and what role do local communities have in creating conditions that attract and integrate immigrants? Join us in this webinar to learn about initiatives that can help employers, and local communities in rural areas, to connect with newcomer talent and populations.

Ryan Deska, Economic Development Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, will provide an overview of the challenges facing rural communities across Ontario and a summary of two provincial resources that look to support communities’ immigrant attraction and retention initiatives: the Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario (CIRRO) program and the Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators (NYCI) tool. Oliver Pryce, from the Newcomer Centre of Peel, will tell us about the Rural Employment Initiative (REI) Project. The major goal of the REI project is to connect immigrants to employers in rural communities that have sustainable job opportunities, thereby facilitating the movement of immigrants from the metropolitan GTA to rural Ontario.

In this webinar you will learn about:

  • Economic imperative for recruiting newcomers
  • Practical initiatives to attract and retain newcomers
  • Promising practices from rural communities

Additional resources:


  • Presenter: Ryan Deska, Economic Development Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs
  • Presenter: Oliver Pryce, Project Coordinator, Rural Employment Initiative Project, Newcomer Centre of Peel

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