Funding to increase jobs in the Thompson Cariboo

October 29th, 2013

As part of Community Living BC’s employment strategy, a $100,000 investment will support a pilot project designed to strengthen employment services so more adults with developmental disabilities in the Thompson-Cariboo region can find and keep work.

While touring the area, Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Don McRae met with local businesses and organizations that have inclusive employment practices. His visit included meeting with people with developmental disabilities working at Reubin’s Diner, Subway and Northern Brewery in Kamloops. These are great examples of employers and businesses that go the extra distance to provide work for people with disabilities.

Earlier this year, CLBC launched 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 initiatives will create inclusive local employment strategies, establish regional job targets and develop best practices that can be applied throughout 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:

  • strengthened the network of contracted service providers to better assist adults with developmental disabilities in employment
  • hired a full-time regional coordinator
  • initiated consultation with self-advocates, school district officials, employers, Community Councils and government to map 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.”

Community Living BC 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 BC, community partners, employers, self-advocates and families to have 1,200 more people with developmental disabilities employed by 2016. The funding we are announcing today will support the great work being done in the Thompson-Cariboo to increase relationships with local businesses and the Employment Program of BC to create job opportunities for people with diverse abilities that we serve.”

Director of Operations, Northam Beverages, George Cziglan

“We are privileged to have a work environment where we can employ and support individuals from our community with disabilities. We have a “win win” scenario where we mutually benefit by working with each other. We also have diversity to the workplace, which brings a distinct, positive impact on staff morale and shows our people what kind of company we are, one that supports diverse members in our community.”

Employment Services Manager, Kamloops Society for Community Living, Minna Ikonen

“Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job seeker and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It matches the talents, interests and skills of a job seeker with the business needs of an employer.”

Media Contact:

Community Living BC

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