Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario

Resources for CIRRO

Why is CIRRO Important?

The Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario (CIRRO) program addresses the economic aspects of changing demographics in rural communities. The program provides strategies and analytical tools to help communities support their economic development initiatives by attracting and retaining newcomers.

What is Community Immigrant Retention in Rural Ontario?

The CIRRO program is a strategic planning process designed to assist communities in developing and implementing a newcomer attraction and retention strategy. The program is designed for economic development officers, municipal officers and anyone involved in community economic development.

There are four recommended steps that assist communities in maximizing the results of their planning process.

  1. Community Engagement and Building Awareness - Engaging a cross-section of stakeholders and community members from the beginning of the process is critical to the success of developing and implementing a newcomer attraction and retention strategic plan. It is also important to build awareness and educate the broader community of the demographic challenges that may affect the local economy and businesses.
  1. Building Knowledge - When developing a newcomer attraction and retention strategy, it is important to understand the current state of your community. One of the recommended tools to help build your knowledge is the Community Attractiveness Indicators for Newcomers tool, which provides data to support planning efforts and decision making.
  1. Planning and Taking Action - When developing strategies and actions related to newcomer attraction and retention, it is important to be aware of your community's unique economic, social and cultural profile. Some recommended approaches when developing your strategies and action plans include:
    • A holistic approach that involves integrating newcomers into economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of the community.
    • Build on existing practices and make incremental improvements.
  2. Measuring Success - When implementing your newcomer attraction and retention strategy measuring the results is important so that you can effectively manage and adjust your action plans in order to achieve long-term success. For more detailed information click here to see the Performance Measurement Resources.

Why is it important?

The CIRRO program supports communities in human capital planning. Human capital is the collective knowledge, skills and workforce that drives productivity and economic growth in a community. It includes the current workforce, future workforce from within the community and newcomers who move to the community. The focus of the CIRRO program is to support communities in developing and implementing strategies to attract and retain newcomers in order to balance the changing population, the needs for an educated workforce and to sustain or grow their economy.

It provides information, tools and case study examples to help communities attract and retain newcomers in support of economic development initiatives including: succession planning, skills attractions and business growth.

Resources for CIRRO:

  • The CIRRO Guidebook offers strategies and best practices that can help your community to attract and retain newcomers. A number of resources are available and referenced throughout the guidebook that can help your community plan these other components of attracting and retaining newcomers.
  • The Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators is the new version of the Community Attractiveness Indicators for Newcomers tool. It is an analytical tool that provides information to help communities assess their ability to attract and retain sufficient human capital for economic development. For more information go to Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators.

How do I get it?

If you are interested in the CIRRO program or would like to receive a free copy of the CIRRO guidebook, or the Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators tool, visit the following link to access a request form.

Regional Economic Development Branch Advisors are available to provide more information and advice on the CIRRO program. Contact an Advisor or call the Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.


Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 09 May 2011
Last Reviewed: 25 August 2014