SUDBURY -- The federal government recently announced funding to address labour needs of businesses in Northeastern Ontario. Fednor funding for the Northern Policy Institute connects migrant and immigrant workers with workplaces seeking to recruit employees.

Sherry Mayer works for the Northern Policy Institute which facilitates the International and Community Matchmaker program.

"For Northeastern Ontario I help identify any gaps in the labour market when it comes to temporary residents and how they can help fill some of those gaps with services that are not already provided by settlement providers for permanent residents," said Mayer.

"So part of my work is to really help them connect with labour market opportunities."

Nickel Belt M.P. Marc Serré often hears about the need for skilled labour in Northeastern Ontario.

"I hear it clearly from Mayors, chamber of commerces, businesses that we need to get more international immigration to Northern Ontario, the population is shrinking. And in order just to maintain the level of businesses that we have today, we need about 5000 international immigration to Northern Ontario," said Serré.

Serré believes it's important for communities to find better ways to be more welcoming to newcomers.

"We have language barriers, we have some of them that are coming with children for school, community support," he said.  

"So we have to make sure, that's why I encourage all of us to really reach out to make sure that when we have a family coming in, we have an individual coming in from another country that we welcome them."

The Northern Policy Institute stresses a skilled labour force is key to growing a strong economy.

"In order for us to maintain the population levels that we currently have we do need to take a look at some of those gaps and yes employers are struggling with filling some shortages."

"So newcomers are welcomed into the labour force here in northern Ontario. We do need to look at recruitment efforts," said Mayer.

So far the Northern Policy Institute has connected over 30 newcomers to northeastern Ontario with jobs in the fields of accounting, healthcare, customer service, and engineering.