Funding to increase jobs in the Central and Upper Island

September 23rd, 2013

As part of Community Living BC’s employment strategy, a $100,000 investment will be used to support a pilot project designed to strengthen and improve employment services so more adults with developmental disabilities in the Central and Upper Island region can find and keep work.
While touring the area, Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae will address the second employment roundtable meeting of the Employment Community Partners Committee in Courtenay today. The committee formed in June 2013 to start discussions for the development of a Comox Valley strategy to increase employment opportunities for youth and adults with developmental disabilities who want to work.
Earlier this year, CLBC launched implementation of a three-year Community Action Employment Plan with three large scale regional pilot projects in the Central and Upper Vancouver Island, Thompson-Cariboo and Simon Fraser regions. These pilots will create inclusive local employment strategies, establish regional job targets and develop best practices that can be applied across the province.
This dedicated funding for the region will support the development and implementation of a localized employment strategy. Focus will be on the unique qualities, employers and needs of the area, raise awareness of the contribution adults with developmental disabilities can make in workplaces, and build service provider capacity to help adults who want to work gain access to employment.
Progress to date since the pilot was announced in April 2013 includes:

  • established employment services for the first time in Port Hardy
  • organized training opportunities for contracted service providers to better assist adults with developmental disabilities in self employment
  • hired a full-time regional coordinator
  • initiated consultation with self advocates, school district officials, representatives of the Ministry of Children and Families, Employment Program of BC, employers, MLAs and Community Councils to start mapping local resources, capacity and activities for employment 

The Community Action Employment Plan has established a target of 1,200 jobs for adults with developmental disabilities over the next three years. For a full copy of the plan, click here.

This work complements a wide-range of housing, inclusion, individualized funding and community supports CLBC provides to over 15,000 adults with developmental disabilities in B.C. through a network of contracted service providers and community offices.

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae

“The regionally focused employment plans and dedicated funding that CLBC is providing will go a long way to better support adults with developmental disabilities who are looking to work, to help with youth transition planning, and to provide that extra support needed to ensure people are successful in their workplace.”
CLBC interim CEO Doug Woollard
“Many of the over 15,500 individuals CLBC currently supports want to work and have the independence that can come with earning their own pay cheque.  Through the Community Action Employment Plan, CLBC is working with the Employment Program of B.C., community partners, employers, self advocates and families to have 1,200 more people with developmental disabilities employed across the province by 2016.We will continue to build on the strong, dedicated and effective networks, resources and initiatives that are helping people with developmental disabilities create more independent and inclusive lives.”
Peter Richmond, 49th Parallel Grocery (Ladysmith)
“Through a connection with the local service provider, the 49th Parallel Grocery Store currently has four adults with developmental disabilities who have been with us now for over 5 years. It’s been fun to watch them grow with the 49th; they come to work each day with a smile and ready to do the job. It is clear to me and to the other staff that having these individuals as employees enriches our workplace and our community.”
Media contact:

Community Living BC, Communications

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