Rural communities and regions throughout Ontario are confronted with rural economic development challenges and opportunities related to labour force planning. Communities and businesses frequently raise the challenges associated with aging populations, out-migration of young adults, and difficulty in obtaining skilled labour. Regardless of the community-specific dynamics, the common message is that economic productivity potential is hindered by the lack of skilled labour. To address these labour force challenges, which negatively impact rural economic development, many rural communities have turned to or are exploring immigration as a potential solution. Rural immigration is not the single purview of any one entity. Businesses, local government, economic development practitioners, and government need to collaborate to successfully attract, settle, and integrate new immigrants. Rural communities throughout Ontario increasingly are seeking information, evidence, and lessons learned from other rural jurisdictions on how to design and implement rural economic development strategies using immigration to address labour force planning.

The purpose of this initiative was to enhance knowledge mobilization and knowledge transfer from existing research findings to rural communities throughout Ontario to enhance their ability for labour force planning and economic development.



This initiative was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance.