New cry from the heart for the working population

ECONOMY. The labor shortage crisis in Chaudière-Appalaches is far from exhausted. On November 9, the Regional Table of Elected Officials of Chaudière-Appalaches (TREMCA) and economic development organizations launched a cry from the heart to the Quebec government. It has been radio silence ever since. For this reason, they returned to the charge in May and ask the government to act quickly.

With an unemployment rate of 2.7% in April, in Chaudière-Appalaches, the needs are increasingly apparent in the manufacturing sector, regardless of the size of the company. At Planchers PG, in Saint-Édouard-de-Lotbinière, and Umano Médical, in Lévis and L’Islet, the problems are the same. Both companies have difficulty filling vacancies. There are 15 at PG and 60 at Umano Medical. These needs can seriously jeopardize business development.

“Our company is growing by 30% per year. […] We are in the midst of strategic planning for the construction of a new factory and the question that arises is ”Where are we going to install it?”. Production will be similar to that of our factory in L’Islet. Are we going to do it in Chaudière-Appalaches, in Quebec or in the United States? My wish is to do it here, but I don’t see how I’m going to recruit 300 to 400 people,” complained Ghislain Demers, vice president of research and development at Umano Médical.

Without automation, the staff shortage at Planchers PG would be even greater. The operation carried out a year ago made it possible to delete 14 positions.

Housing and Immigration

At PG and Umano, we condemn the administrative burden and climate of uncertainty related to the arrival of temporary foreign workers and the delays associated with their arrival. Ghislain Demers expects a group of foreign workers, but he does not know when they will arrive. Pierre-Denis Faucher, for his part, regrets that he has to prove his need with every request.

Everyone also agrees that Chaudière-Appalaches doesn’t have enough newcomers.

“Our demographic weight in Quebec is 5% of the population and we welcome only 0.5% of immigrants. Montreal welcomes over 75%. It comes in a trickle and many want them to come. We are told by our employers that it is complicated, that it takes a long time. The government must make an effort’, analyzed Danielle Raymond, economic development coordinator of the MRC de Lotbinière.

Yes, labor is a problem, but once the new guest workers arrive, they have to be housed. That is not as easy at PG as it is at Umano Medical.

“We have a responsibility to them and the first is to accommodate them and in Saint-Édouard it is not easy. We have an agreement with a contractor who will build eight unit buildings. We have reserved six with a five-year lease. We must have solutions. It’s fine to bring in foreign workers, but they do need to be housed. We will have 18 in the coming months and in Saint-Édouard it is a problem,” explained the director of human resources at Planchers PG, Pierre-Denis Faucher.

Solutions

Since then, the Legault government has on November 9 on November 12 An ambitious economic vision – A Quebec that winson December 13, the plan Labor operation and the budget on March 22. TREMCA’s requests were not taken into account under any circumstances.

“We expected and still expect specific measures from the provincial government to support the development of the manufacturing sector for the Chaudière-Appalaches region,” lamented the director-general of Chaudière-Appalaches Économique, Philippe Mailloux.

It is for this reason that TREMCA and its partners come forward with four key recommendations: improving the load on workers, especially experienced workers, increasing the labor pool through immigration and obtaining permanent residence, establishing support programs that are adapted to SMEs for technological migration and housing creation solution.

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