Close to 50 employers and business people took part in a discussion about hiring immigrants at the White Carnation in Holmesville on May 25.
The event was hosted by the Huron County Immigration Partnership along with community groups that included Community Futures Huron, WILL Employment Solutions, and the Goderich, North, and Central Huron Chambers of Commerce.
Immigration Partnership Manager Mark Nonkes said the Newcomer Talent Network is run by WILL Employment Solutions and it offers opportunities for employers to learn how to bring workers from overseas and build workplaces where they want to stay.
Nonkes added what was heard very clearly from the discussion is the interest in having diverse workplaces, and making sure that there are more people that represent different cultures and experiences and different education backgrounds.
“There's a lot of support in Huron County for that," said Nonkes. "There's a lot of employers who want people who were internationally educated or trained.”
And results show that international workers benefit tremendously from working abroad.
“Places of employment that have more immigrants are actually doing financially better than places where everybody is from the same background," he said. "There's more perspectives, there's new ways to think about problems, so that diversity of experiences allows for a more creative workforce.”
There was also general agreement that the biggest challenge in bringing immigrants to fill jobs in Huron County is the lack of housing for them. Most people acknowledged that changes are being made, but it's going to take some time before those changes can really make a difference.