CHATHAM, ONT. -- Chatham-Kent, Cornwall and Belleville are all embarking on a pilot project to fill gaps in available labour and attract new talent to rural Ontario.

The Ontario government picked these three communities for a regional immigration pilot program, since their current labour needs are reportedly not being met.

The program will support new opportunities for businesses to fill their talent gaps, as well as provide a path for skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents.

The province says these three communities were chosen based on their specific challenges and their ability to help newcomers get settled.

Outcomes from the pilot project will help improve efforts to regionalize economic immigration in Ontario.