Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 01, 2010 14:43 ET

The Government of Canada Helps Youth and People with Disabilities in Thunder Bay Develop Job Skills and Prepare for the Labour Market

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2010) - People with disabilities and youth who face barriers to employment will get help preparing for jobs as a result of the Government of Canada's support for two employment projects. Mr. Greg Rickford, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Kenora, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"In today's environment, it is more important than ever that all Canadians have the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Mr. Rickford. "By supporting these projects, our government is helping Canadians with disabilities and youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."

The Independent Living Resource Centre Thunder Bay will receive $265,661 under the Community Coordinator component of the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. Through this funding, the organization will expand an existing project to help an additional 90 individuals with disabilities gain the skills they need to obtain jobs, prepare for self-employment or return to school.

The Ontario March of Dimes will receive $403,414 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Achieving Success project, which will help 50 youth facing employment barriers develop life and job skills to ease their transition to work or return to school.

"This funding enables our organization to ensure that persons with disabilities are given an equitable and inclusive opportunity at entering or re-entering employment opportunities in our region," said Mr. Tom Pugliese, Executive Director, Independent Living Resource Centre Thunder Bay. "The opportunities created through this funding provide our participants with a greater sense of community involvement, while enabling them to make choices for themselves and act on those choices independently. The positive impact this funding has on our region can best be seen through the many successes of our participants." 

"Now in its eighth year, Achieving Success supports youth faced with challenges in transitioning to employment. Connecting with the community is the focus of the program, and participants have the opportunity to learn about work, gain valuable work experience, gain independence and feel more confident about their future," said Mr. Ed Dovick, Regional Employment Services Manager, Ontario March of Dimes.

The federal government is working with the provinces and territories, community organizations and other stakeholders to provide Canadians with the training, skills and opportunities they need to get jobs and contribute to their communities.

The Opportunities Fund helps support an array of activities, such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment. The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians with disabilities from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services.

Skills Link focuses on helping youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, young persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas, and youth who have dropped out of high school. 

The Opportunities Fund and the Skills Link program are part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca

These programs are delivered by Service Canada, which provides one-stop personalized services for Government of Canada programs, services and benefits. For more information about these programs, visit www.servicecanada.gc.ca, call 1 800 O-Canada or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

The Independent Living Resource Centre Thunder Bay provides services to people with disabilities through programs that focus on independent living. The organization also offers educational and inclusion support to the community. The project participants will attend employability workshops on topics such as résumé writing and employer expectations, and will have the opportunity to develop and implement an employment action plan.

The Community Coordinator component of the Opportunities Fund is designed to support projects that help Canadians with disabilities develop a broad range of skills and work experience they need to participate in the job market. It is available to eligible organizations that enter into agreements with eligible participants and employers in support of activities that further Opportunities Fund objectives.

The Ontario March of Dimes is a community-based rehabilitation and advocacy organization that provides support to individuals with physical disabilities. The organization's goal is to facilitate the independence of people with disabilities. This project will provide the participants with group-based employability and life skills workshops followed by work experience placements.

As part of the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy, the Skills Link program is one of three programs that help young Canadians, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop skills, gain work experience, find good jobs and stay employed. The other two programs are Summer Work Experience and Career Focus.

Skills Link focuses on helping youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, young persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas, and youth who have dropped out of high school. It offers a client-centred approach based on assessing an individual's specific needs. The program supports youth in developing basic and advanced employment skills. Eligible participants between 15 and 30 years of age—who are not receiving Employment Insurance benefits—are assisted through a coordinated approach, offering longer-term supports and services that can help them find and keep a job.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    819-994-2482
    or
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559