Belleville association hoping to open more doors to workforce
Community Living Belleville and Area receives $66,100 grant for Rotary at Work program
Tuesday September 4, 2012 -- Natalie Hamilton
The wheels are in motion in Belleville and area to help more people who have a disability land meaningful jobs.
Community Living Belleville and Area recently received a $66,100 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the Rotary at Work program that connects people who have a disability with meaningful employment. http://www.rotaryatwork.com/
Community Living Belleville executive director John Klassen says the goal is to secure at least 30 jobs for people who have a disability over the next two years.
The grant allows Community Living Belleville, the host agency, to hire a project co-ordinator and Joe Dale, founder of the Rotary at Work program, has already stepped into the role.
Klassen has been working with local agencies and Rotary clubs for the past few years on the employment issue and says having a project co-ordinator will give the initiative the focus it needs to be a success.
“It’s really a win-win,” Klassen says.
“We see this as an opportunity to build community capacity.”
Dale “will be able to make connections” with the business community and different service providers to facilitate matches.
“We can keep on knocking on doors and we do. As service provider agencies, we are not as successful in finding open doors as businesses themselves. When businesses can talk about the successes that speaks volumes.”
When employers hear how hiring a person who has a disability positively impacts morale and productivity and reduces turnover and absenteeism, “those kinds of messages are very powerful,” Klassen explains.
The Rotary at Work committee has identified local champion employers and will meet in September to adopt a work plan and carve out objectives.
“Our job is to make the right matches,” Klassen says about Community Living Belleville’s role. The local association will work with employers to ensure proper orientation and provide the support necessary for success as well.
Klassen estimates Community Living Belleville has at least 10 job-ready candidates already.
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