It pays to get a job in Prescott and Russell counties. 

On November 19, the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation (PRCDC), Prescott-Russell Employment Services Centre (PRESC), the Hawkesbury Industrial Investment Association (HIIA), the Eastern Ontario Training Board (EOTB), and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell announced they have jointly contributed $125,000, in order to offer $1,000 incentives to up to 125 new employees of local businesses, or not-for-profit organizations.  

The incentives will be offered to people who are considering moving from other areas to accept jobs in Prescott and Russell. The incentive program is being administered by the Employment Services Centre. 

PRCDC Executive Director John Candie said he has spoken with many partner agencies, entrepreneurs, and community organizations about their labour needs. He said the incentives will help maintain local employment and build prosperity in the region. 

“I think the key word today is partnership, partnership, partnership,” said Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Member of Parliament Francis Drouin, who called the incentive an “outside of the box” solution to the local labour shortage, and a good example of agencies and organizations working together. 

United Counties of Prescott and Russell Warden Stephane Sarrazin said he is aware of local businesses refusing contracts, because there were not enough employees to do the work required. He hopes new workers discover that Prescott and Russell is a good place to live and work. 

“Welcome to all who choose Prescott and Russell,” Sarrazin said.

“As we speak, about 1,000 jobs are available throughout the counties,” said PRESC Executive Director Caroline Arcand, who noted the incentives will be especially beneficial for small and medium sized businesses, and organizations. 

Prescott and Russell Chamber of Commerce President Julie Brisson said the partnership and collaboration between organizations is appreciated. 

“What’s important for us is to create new jobs,” explained Candie, who said the incentives will be available to both skilled and unskilled workers. He emphasized the initiative is not intended to replace existing, local workers. 

Arcand commented that the present unemployment rate in Prescott and Russell is approximately seven per cent, but includes individuals collecting the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Without the CERB recipients included, the unemployment rate is approximately four per cent.