Canada and Elgin County are currently battling a well-publicized shift in labour demographics, with ‘baby-boomers’ beginning to transition into retirement and a shortage of younger workers entering the workforce to take their place.

In an effort to locate a solution to the problem, government has placed emphasis on attracting newcomers to Canada in order to maintain adequate population growth and economic sustainability. However, with the vast majority of new Canadian settling in major urban centers, there has been a recent push to attract these newcomers to rural areas like St Thomas-Elgin.

To encourage this relocation, the St.Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership and the St.Thomas-Elgin YWCA have started Skills Connect, a two-pronged initiative with partners throughout the region aiming to fill local employment gaps in St. Thomas and Elgin County and enhance the current immigration portal through a variety of new features and updates. Funded by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the project will run into 2018 and has already completed a series of employer round-tables in Dutton, Aylmer and St.Thomas.