Thompson Cariboo Regional Employment Plan Makes Progress

April 9th, 2014

Community Living BC (CLBC) and community partners are celebrating progress in developing additional supports and strategies to create more jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, Autism and FASD throughout the Thompson Cariboo.

In October 2013, CLBC invested $100,000 to support the development of a large-scale regional pilot project in the Thompson Cariboo to help promote job opportunities for people served by CLBC who want to work. This project is one element of a comprehensive three-year Community Action Employment Plan CLBC released in March 2013.

During their meeting in Kamloops earlier today, CLBC’s Board of Directors received a progress report from local staff leading the employment project in the Thompson-Cariboo region.

The $100,000 local investment announced in October was focused on supporting the development and implementation of strategies across the Thompson Cariboo  that recognize diverse qualities and opportunities of individual communities, raise awareness of the contribution adults with diverse abilities can make in work places and build the capacity of CLBC’s service provider network.

Since October significant progress has been made. Highlights include:

  • diverse community groups developing localized job plans that identify existing resources and collaborative work goals to increase employment in the Kamloops/Merritt region and Williams Lake/100 Mile House corridor
  • direct funding to increase access to employment services in Kamloops, Merritt and Williams Lake for approximately 55 individuals served by CLBC
  • coordinated outreach to major employers and school districts in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House to help youth with special needs graduating from high school transition to work
  • working collaboratively with a service provider in Kamloops, Community Companions, to host a workshop focusing on building pre-employment skills
  • working with a team of self advocates to present and hold discussions with youth in school about the value and benefits of employment
  • service provider training opportunities for supported employment best practices, job coaching and methods to use in outreach to employers
  • collaboration with Aboriginal communities in Merritt and Kamloops to create more awareness about employment supports and develop partnerships to help people find and keep work
  • supporting local self advocates to create and test presentations and outreach strategies for employers as part of the provincial Supporting Our Abilities Presentation Series, developed by the BC Self Advocacy Foundation

In collaboration with British Columbia’s Family Support Institute (FSI), CLBC is also providing additional funding to help family members of the people we serve to become more involved and supportive of employment services.  FSI will expand the successfulfamilyWorks program in Vancouver to the Thompson-Cariboo region.  Among other things, familyWorks:

  • recognizes most families organize much of the supports with their loved ones
  • establishes local family chapters to meet regularly to share, learn and develop an internal process to support the development of individual employment plans for their loved one
  • informs potential expansion of the model to other CLBC regions
  • ensures family perspectives are included in CLBC’s employment strategy

CLBC’s three-year Community Action Employment Plan was released one year ago in March 2013.



Todd Stone, MLA, Kamloops-South Thompson 
“Our government recognizes that people with disabilities want to achieve greater independence for themselves and their families, and have opportunities to contribute to their communities. I am informed that a frequent comment made by participants during the recent disability consultation is that having a job is extremely important in terms of being an inclusive society for those willing and able to participate. This employment support and FSI familyWorks partnership will help families and employers make informed decisions about employment.”

Doug Woollard, Interim CEO, Community Living BC
“In the year since it was announced, the Community Action Employment Plan has made great strides in coordinating for the first time, the resources, experience and expertise available across B.C. to increase employment for the adults CLBC serves. This success is clearly evident in the Thompson Cariboo where through the framework of the Plan, government, community and agency partners  are strengthening their networks, providing mentorship, identifying ways to use resources more effectively, and coordinating education and outreach of employers so more people have the opportunity to find and keep work.”

Karen Adkin, Managing Director, Smart Options
“Choosing the Thompson Cariboo as a test site for the Community Action employment Plan has brought a positive focus to employment for people with developmental disabilities in our region. All stakeholders are collaborating and partnering as a core team to reach our 2016 goal of increasing employment.  We are very excited with how the plan has strengthened working relationship, generated interest and the momentum to date!”

Tracey Jo Russell, Self Advocate
“We’re going to the high school in Kamloops to talk to youth and let them know it’s really possible to get a real job for real pay.  I’ve had my job for 12 years.  We want them to know all the good things that come with having a job and also how to stand up for yourself, and not get taken advantage of at work.”

Jill Kavanaugh, New Horizons
“I’m also part of the Community Action Employment Plan in the Thompson Cariboo.  I want to let youth know that it isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s scary thinking about a job, but it’s worth it to keep trying to find what best fits for you.”

Media Contact: 

CLBC Communications

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