The federal immigration pilot project being conducted in Altona and Rhineland Municipality is beginning to take shape.

Local community leaders were able to meet with officials from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in August to help answer questions about the new initiative and fill in some of the information gaps.

"They were here for community consultations to learn more about our community, our key sectors and employers including the key economic objectives for the next three years," said Stephanie Harris, local economic development officer. "We discussed some of the challenges associated with the pilot as well as opportunities that we're anticipating."

Harris said members of IRCC were able to also provide details about the pilot and explain the structure of the program, which has been a big help to the local immigration group in developing criteria for the pilot.

In addition to providing information about the pilot program, members of the IRCC were also given a tour of the area which included the communities of Altona, Gretna and Plum Coulee. According to Harris, the group was quite impressed with the area and felt the communities they saw were very clean and safe.

Representatives from IRCC will be back in the area later this month to provide immigration training and to finalize a memorandum of understanding with the participating communities.

Harris expects they are just months away from beginning the process of bringing immigrants into the area and introducing them to their new home.

"We will be able to begin endorsing or recommending candidates for immigration on November 1st. We have three years to recommend candidates for our community and the following two years are for reporting information about the program."