The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced funding on Friday to the BC Center for Ability through the Community Coordinator component of the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.
During her tour of the Center's facilities, Minister Finley commended the project coordinators for their ongoing dedication to helping Canadians with disabilities overcome barriers to employment.
"Our government is proud to work in partnership with organizations and the private sector to support an array of employment-related activities," said Minister Finley. "By supporting projects like these, we are helping Canadians with disabilities develop the abilities and knowledge they need to succeed in life, whether through self-employment or full-time regular employment."
The Center received $2,196,067 to help 185 persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain meaningful employment.
The federal government is working with the provinces and territories, community organizations and other 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 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 program 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 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.
Founded in 1969, the BC Center for Ability is a non-profit organization that provides services to more than 3,000 children, youth and adults with neurological, physical and developmental disabilities, and their families. The Center delivers a wide range of high quality community-based services using a family-centered approach, and promotes the right of individuals with disabilities to participate as valued members of their communities. Between September 1, 2008, and February 28, 2010, the Center will have helped 185 unemployed persons with disabilities to prepare for and obtain future employment.
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. Under the Opportunities Fund program, individuals must self-identify as having a permanent physical or mental disability that restricts their ability to perform daily activities. In addition, they must be currently unemployed and ineligible for assistance under Employment Insurance employment benefits, legally entitled to work in Canada, and require assistance to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or self-employment.
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