The City of North Bay will launch a pilot project this fall to help local companies find employees.

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald made the announcement Tuesday, saying the application process will be open to businesses of all sizes.

"Our staff are going to work with our local business to find out what they need. Then they will partner with our community partners and that business to assist them in attracting the individuals they need so that they can expand their businesses,” said McDonald.

"We're actually going to try and be apart of their Human Resources from an attraction perspective."

It's a $200,000 project and McDonald said all three levels of government will be supporting it.

McDonald said the number one thing he hears from local business owners is the lack of employees they have and how they're struggling to hire.

"Their number one challenge is they can not find the people that they need to operate their business, right across every business you can find and every organization," he said.

"We found out what they wanted, and they've identified the labour shortage as their concern and that's what I'm hearing everywhere I go."

The pilot project is an expansion of the city's already existing Business and Retention Expansion Program, which identifies the needs of local businesses to help them grow.

"We did extensive interviews with 250 businesses. One of the things that came out of them was lack of employees. Now moving forward we're going to be going back out to these employees and seeing what their needs are and helping them to recruit," said Dave Mendicino, city councillor.

The pilot project will also help businesses find locations for their company, host virtual job fairs and help with recruitment events.

Correction:

A previous version of the article indicated the pilot program would help companies find employers instead of employees in error.