The vice-president of a Newfoundland and Labrador-based immigration and recruiting firm was in Windsor Tuesday, touting the idea that the region's skilled trade shortage could be solved by bringing in foreign workers.

Windsor-Essex misses out on $600 million in economic activity every year because of a skilled trades shortage, according to the region's Chamber of Commerce. 

Wanda Cuff-Young, vice-president of St. John's-based Work Global Canada, has been touring southwestern Ontario telling local employers and politicians about the benefits of bringing in foreign workers to fill vacancies in the skilled trades, primarily in the manufacturing sector.

"It's always about trying to find Canadians for these jobs," Cuff-Young explained. "[But] the employees we've spoken to say they've been exhausting these methods."

Cuff-Young said that depending on the program, employers can get work permits for foreign workers in as little as eight weeks.

Foreign workers have been used in Cuff-Young's home province to help address shortages in the hospitality industry.

"It's worked very well in Newfoundland and Labrador," she explained, noting that the province's tourism industry is booming.

"Most of [the workers] have decided to apply for permanent residence and bring their families here."