A group of concerned business owners is attempting to lure workers to the Muskoka region.

The Muskoka Builders Association is spending up to $12,000 to encourage workers from outside the area to consider moving to Muskoka to work and live.

Josh Pearcey sits on the Board of the Muskoka Builders Association and he says Muskoka is not a seasonal destination anymore when it comes to work.

“The truth is we do have year-round work,” said Pearcey who owns Brian Hoar Inc., a builder of commercial and residential buildings.

He says the current target is to attract young families. Through a targeted Facebook campaign, the Association is trying to attract a variety of trades to the area to enjoy a simpler and more affordable lifestyle while maintaining city level wages.

The first step is to engage people with the job prospects in the area. They are encouraging people to sign up for a newsletter that is promoting the region to workers.  Association members are going to be putting their job availability into the newsletter, trying to entice skilled trades to come north.

While the Builders Association is providing the seed money for the three-month pilot, they will be looking to various levels of government down the road to help with the program.

He says the need for workers extends beyond the building trade. The recreation and tourism industries face an annual struggle for workers as well. He admits that the amount of available housing, and not just affordable housing, is one of the problems that need to be dealt with.

“There is not a lot available to buy or rent up here, so people want to make the move but then have to compromise on their housing or location,” he revealed.