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Press Release

County celebrates local immigrant employment success stories through Recognition Event


Midhurst/ April 17, 2018 The County of Simcoe held a gathering on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the Gibson Centre in Alliston to speak about the work being done as a result of receiving a Local Poverty Reduction Fund (LPRF) grant from the Government of Ontario.

The Poverty to Employment project is supported by $230,000 in funding delivered through the Government of Ontario's Local Poverty Reduction Fund. The grant, funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by its agency the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is helping the County of Simcoe's Local Immigration Partnership to support and serve the increasing immigrant residency in Simcoe County.

The funding supported the development and delivery of seven modules of training for 10 Employment Ontario agency staff, a marketing and outreach component, and the Community Connections events in Barrie on April 11th, Alliston on April 17th, and Bradford on May 1st. The data collected will contribute to a body of knowledge that will support poverty reduction programs across the province, including a comprehensive evaluation component, provided by Georgian College through their Research Analyst Program. 

Success Stories:

Khaled and Mohammad are Syrian refugees that have been employed at Black Bear Flooring in Alliston for almost two years. Their placement was supported by Focus Employment an Employment Ontario agency. Through their assessment, Focus determined that Mohammad and Khaled both qualified for the Employment Incentive Program. The program allowed Mohammad and Khaled to earn a wage while training, and provided them with the necessary funds to cover the cost of needed work-related clothing such as safety boots, work pants and durable winter jackets for outdoor work. Focus assessment gave Khaled and Mohammad the necessary tools to successfully start their career in Canada.

The event was held in conjunction with the Community Connections fair occurring at the Gibson Centre on Tuesday evening from 4-8 p.m. where immigrant residents had an opportunity to connect with area employment and community support services.

County of Simcoe is composed of 16-member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at


“Ontario is investing in programs that will measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. The County of Simcoe serves as an excellent example—through their innovative employment programming, the County is helping us learn more about what approaches are making a difference for their growing immigrant community. In turn, this will help government, communities and all of our partners design and deliver more effective programs to combat poverty as we continue making Ontario the best place to call home." –Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“This is a tremendous program that supports our newcomers and helps our businesses fill labour needs," said Warden Gerry Marshall. “With a growing immigrant population in Simcoe County of more than 61,600 newcomers making up 13 per cent of our population, the County with tremendous support from the province and area employment agencies are stepping up in a big way to make our communities as welcoming as possible for newcomers."

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Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications 
705-726-9300 ext. 1230
705-794-9301 (mobile)

Collin Matanowitsch
Communications Co-ordinator
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)