City busy with immigration program

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SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

Enquires under the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program have resulted in daily emails.
The program is an economic immigration program where people are nominated for permanent residency in Alberta.
Nominees have to have the skills to fill a job vacancy or be planning to buy or start a business.
Mitch Iwaasa, the economic development officer for the region, told joint services they are getting inquires about both the entrepreneurial and rural renewal streams.
“We’ve endorsed a number of applicants. We’re waiting to hear the outcome of their applications to AAIP,” he said.
“Beyond that, we’ve spoken to a number of interested investors who are looking to purchase businesses in the region.”
In the proposed city-county joint services budget for 2023 there is $35,000 for three years to pay for a half term immigration program position.
Lisa Tiffin, the city’s community development manager, told the committee the funds are for reactive and preventative work from answering e-mails to working with larger employers as well as to working with the college to create homegrown training programs.
“It’s very demanding. It’s taking a huge amount of time administering it,” she said.
She added that the strategic plan includes workforce development which would also be the responsibility of the immigration position.
Grant funds will be sought for the position but if none is awarded the funds are in the budget.