City researching employment issues for people living with a disability

August 25, 2008
News Release

QUESNEL, B.C. – The City of Quesnel is undertaking a program with a specific goal of learning more about the employment opportunities and challenges facing those living with a disability.

The City received funding thanks to a Labour Market Partnership through Service Canada in conjunction with Career Leap. As a result, a local co-ordinator, Alison Duddy, is researching and producing a report based on the involvement of people with disabilities – physical and developmental – in Quesnel’s labour market.

“This is the type of work we need to do to ensure Quesnel has a productive and diverse workforce ready to take on all challenges,” said Mayor Nate Bello. “By addressing the issues that those living with a disability face when seeking employment, we can make suggestions, lobby senior government and effect change in our community. I’m pleased our staff had the vision to take on this project.”

Demographic changes that include retiring baby boomers and general labour market shortages make it vital a community can call upon all sectors to contribute. It also leads to a workforce that is more representative of the entire community.

Rick Hansen, the keynote speaker at this year’s Career Leap event, waived his speaking fee in exchange for the City taking on community projects related to people with disabilities.

Alison will research the local labour market and meet with people with disabilities and their families, employers and local organizations. One goal is to determine how many people with disabilities are employed in the local labour market and make recommendations on how to increase that figure, creating greater accessibility and inclusion in Quesnel. A draft report will be complete at the end of October, with a roundtable presentation with Hansen tentatively set for Nov.20. A final report will be presented at the end of November.

The City needs to hear from people with disabilities (both employed and unemployed) and their families, employers, and organizations who would like to provide input into this exciting project. For more information, contact Alison at 250.992.2111 ext. 444.

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