DIDSBURY - Council has approved a proposal to provide qualifying local businesses interested in accessing federal and provincial workforce support programs with letters of support.
The move came by way of motion at a recent, regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.
The Town of Didsbury has received a number of inquires from local businesses seeking employees, council heard.
“The businesses were wanting to hire full-time employees but are unable to find local talent or any talent in Canada for that matter, for their operations; therefore they are hoping to apply for federal and provincial programs to assist them in securing workers so they are able to continue operations,” chief administrative officer Ethan Gorner said in a briefing note to council.
Businesses are specifically seeking access to two particular workforce programs: the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the Rural Renewal Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program.
The TFWP is intended to be used when employers are facing short-term skills and labour shortages, and allow them to hire temporary foreign workers for a maximum period of two years when no Canadians or permanent residents are available, council heard.
The Rural Renewal Stream supports the attraction and retention of newcomers to rural Alberta through a community-driven approach that supports local economic development needs and contribute to the growth of the community, council heard.
“Both programs require the support of the community,” he said. “Didsbury employers are requiring a letter of support from the Town of Didsbury, allowing them to apply for workers through the above programs, as required for their operations.”
Council passed a motion allowing administration to provide a general letter from the mayor for businesses wanting to participate in these programs, with requests to be reviewed and vetted by the economic development officer.