During October and Community Living Month, Community Living BC (CLBC) and its partners are celebrating the first 12 months of progress on a pilot project that is creating more jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the Thompson Cariboo region.
Launched last October, CLBC has invested $200,000 to date to support this project in the communities of Kamloops, Williams Lake, Merritt, Clearwater, Barrier and 100 Mile House. The pilot is being led by CLBC in partnership with service providers, community members, employers, individuals, families and other government partners, who are using a broad range of activities to help adults served by CLBC find and keep work. The work is part of the comprehensive, three-year Community Action Employment Plan released in March 2013. The goal of the Plan is to help 1,200 more of the adults CLBC serves to find and keep employment. Currently in the Thompson-Cariboo region, CLBC supports about 900 individuals and close to 200 are receiving employment-specific supports.
Since the last progress update in March 2014, work on the pilot includes:
- Expanding employment supports in Kamloops including broader access to job coaches
- Increasing collaboration with Work BC in Kamloops and Merritt to assist as many people as possible to find employment
- Expanding capacity for employment support for individuals CLBC serves in Clearwater and Barrier through a partnership with the local CLBC service provider and Work BC office
- Sponsoring local service providers to attend customized employment training to strengthen their support of individuals seeking employment
- Supporting the MentorAbility initiative during October which matches individuals interested in working with an employer in the field they are interested in
- Developing a workshop in partnership with Community Futures for individuals and families who are interested in self employment
- Supporting on-going workshops by the Family Support Institute to provide families with peer support and training on inclusive employment
CLBC released the three-year Community Action Employment Plan in March 2013. For more information on CLBC, Community Living Month activities or the Community Action Employment Plan, visit www.communitylivingbc.com.
Minister Don McRae
“We know that many people with disabilities have the skills and experience to help B.C. businesses thrive. We also know that when barriers are removed and people with disabilities are able to participate fully in their communities and support their families, everyone benefits. These local Community Action Employment Plan initiatives will help promote awareness about the benefits of hiring adults with developmental disabilities and increase inclusive employment opportunities.”
CLBC CEO Seonag Macrae
“One of the findings of the Community Action Employment Plan consultations was that the community living sector requires both traditional and non-traditional partners to help build more employment opportunities for the people CLBC serves. What is clear through the work being done in the Thompson Cariboo region is that there are many champions of inclusive employment, and it is with their support and hard work that we will collectively help individuals who want to work, find and keep work.”