The federal and Ontario governments have granted $1 million to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for allocation to 15 regions -- including Brampton and Mississauga that have high South Asian population -- to help new immigrants adjust. The funds will be further divided between local organizations for the execution.
The project "relates to the whole area of skill shortage in Canada," said Len Crispino, president, OCC. "Demographic trends indicate that we are going to have labor shortage to the extent that by 2011 immigration will account for 100 percent of our labor force growth. Obviously it is an important issue."
Through this and several other initiatives, OCC "is trying to help foreign-trained professionals to better integrate within our economy," he added.
"We are funding 15 projects through local chambers of commerce and boards of trade and all these projects are intended to help in terms of job fairs, internships programs, cultural guidance and a bunch of other things."
OCC will also work closely with the organizations that will launch the projects. "We think successful programs will have specific business plans, regular status reports and we will be closely monitoring these," Crispino said.