Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 01, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps People With Disabilities Prepare for Jobs in Alberta

EDSON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) - Albertans with disabilities will get help to prepare for jobs or become self-employed as a result of the Government of Canada's support for a local employment program. The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, 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 of State Merrifield. "By supporting these projects, our government is helping Canadians with disabilities maximize their potential and independence."

Reflections will receive $56,516 under the Enhanced Employment Assistance Services component of the Opportunities Fund for its Empowerment Through Employment project, which will help 12 people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment, or return to school.

"Since 2007, Reflections has successfully supported 22 clients who wished to re-enter the workforce. By working closely with local businesses, staff at Reflections ensure that there is a good fit between the employer's goals and the employee's abilities, providing a successful employment partnership," said Ms. Ruth Martin Williams, Executive Director of Reflections. "Through employment, Reflections clients are empowered-they regain control of their lives and they can plan for the future."

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

The Opportunities Fund helps support activities such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment.

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 its commitment to this strategy 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.

A backgrounder is attached.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Incorporated in 2002, Reflections is an adult drop-in centre offering support and programs to individuals who may have mental health challenges or brain trauma or who require a safe, secure place for support and understanding. Between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, its Empowerment Through Employment project will provide 12 persons with disabilities with case management, including individual action plan development, skills workshops, coaching and work experience, to help them prepare for employment or return to school.

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

Contact Information

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