Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

April 08, 2009 12:57 ET

Government of Canada Helps Calgarians With Disabilities Find Meaningful Employment

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 8, 2009) - Twenty Calgary residents with disabilities will receive personalized counselling and assistance to help them prepare for jobs thanks to Government of Canada support for a local employment project. The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, 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 Minister Prentice. "Not only does our investment in this project help Canadians with disabilities maximize their potential and independence by getting them job-ready, it will ultimately create a stronger workforce and economy tomorrow."

Calgary Alternative Support Services (C.A.S.S.) will receive $189,427 under the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund for its Employment Placement project. This project will help 20 people with cognitive disabilities in the Calgary area find and maintain meaningful employment.

"C.A.S.S. provides support and assistance for people with disabilities to explore, choose and achieve sustainable career goals. The workforce inclusion of those we serve strengthens business through diversity and new perspectives, and it is our direct experience that employers are extremely happy with the employees they find through our services," said Mr. Sean McEwen of Calgary Alternative Support Services. "The federal government's investment in this initiative fosters innovation in services like ours, and helps Canadians with barriers participate fully and achieve their dreams."

The federal government is working with stakeholders to make sure that Canadians get the skills and opportunities they need to participate in the workforce and contribute to the quality of life in their communities.

The Opportunities Fund supports 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 from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services tailored to people with disabilities.

The Opportunities Fund is 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 this commitment in January when it introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development.


Calgary Alternative Support Services (C.A.S.S.) is a not-for-profit agency that offers community support services to people with disabilities in the Calgary area. Between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, C.A.S.S., through its Employment Placement project, will help 20 participants with disabilities prepare for employment or return to school through individual action plan development, skills workshops and work experience.

The $30-million Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund is designed to help Canadians with disabilities who have little or no work experience, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. The Fund works in partnership with community organizations and the private sector to support projects that help Canadians with disabilities develop the broad range of skills and work experience they need to participate in the job market.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office