Community Living BC’s employment strategy has invested $100,000 to support a pilot project to improve employment services for adults with developmental disabilities.
Earlier this year, CLBC implemented a three-year Community Action Employment Plan with three regional pilot projects, including one on Central and Upper Vancouver Island. These pilots will create inclusive employment strategies, establish regional job targets and develop best practices.
The plan has established a target of 1,200 jobs for adults with developmental disabilities over the next three years.
“There’s a real opportunity for these individuals to get a great resource and support network in our community,” said Social Development and Social Innovation Minister/Comox Valley MLA Don McRae, who is touring the province in conjunction with Community Living Month in October.
“A lot of it is support, and working with employers themselves. Everybody wants to contribute to society.”
Dedicated funding for the region will support a localized employment strategy. Focus will be on unique qualities, employers and needs of the area. It will also raise awareness of the contributions adults with developmental disabilities can make in workplaces, and build service provider capacity to help adults who want to work.
Progress to date since the pilot was announced in April 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 co-ordinator;
• Initiated consultation with self-advocates, school district officials, 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.
This work complements a range of supports CLBC provides to more than 15,000 adults with developmental disabilities in B.C. through a network of contracted service providers and community offices.