c8977e26476eb2eea1784ea98916March 17, 2014                                                                                                            Community Living BC
For Immediate Release

First Anniversary of Three-Year CLBC Community Employment Action Plan

VANCOUVER – Community Living British Columbia (CLBC) today marked the first anniversary of the Community Action Employment Plan they released in March 2013 to help create job opportunities across the province for adults with developmental disabilities, Autism and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) who want to and able to work.

CLBC marked the anniversary of the employment strategy by releasing a summary of accomplishments over the past year and announcing a new innovation partnership with the BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CFEE) and the University of British Columbia.

CLBC’S employment plan is a collaborative strategy that promotes inclusive and supportive employment opportunities.  Among other things, the plan supports coordination of local resources and community engagement with government, service providers, volunteers, self advocates, families, community leaders and CLBC staff.

Accomplishments over the past year include:

  • CLBC recognized as the first government body funding community living services in Canada to adopt national best practices established by the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (www.employmentforall.ca)
  • funding for large-scale pilot projects in the Thompson-Cariboo, Central-Upper Island and Simon Fraser regions to develop localized employment strategies, establish job targets and build local partnerships
  • collaborations with BC’s Family Support Institute and BC Self Advocacy Foundation to help increase the participation of families and people with diverse abilities in the implementation of local employment plans
  • established $100,000 Scholarship Fund in partnership with BCGEU to provide skills training opportunities to people CLBC serves
  • funded training opportunities for contracted employment service providers  and supported development of BC-based trainers/mentors
  • developed ongoing collaboration with local and provincial Work BC offices and Aboriginal communities
  • initiated efforts to strengthen CLBC’s human resources policies to help increase the number of individuals with developmental disabilities employed by CLBC

The work of CLBC’s Community Action Employment Plan over the past year complements a wide range of housing, inclusion, individualized funding and community supports CLBC provides to over 16,000 BC adults.  To build on the successes achieved in the first year of the plan, CLBC will introduce additional elements to support the strategy’s goals in the year ahead, including:

  • establishment of a framework to measure increases in employment for the adults CLBC serves and the success of contracted employment services
  • multi-year funding for three regional projects and a process to select a fourth pilot location
  • funding awards from the CLBC/BCGEU Scholarship Fund
  • ongoing training and professional development for CLBC staff and service providers
  • strategic collaborations with community partners and Work BC

CLBC’s new collaboration with the BC Centre for Employment Excellence and the University of British Columbia includes two projects focused on helping BC adults with developmental disabilities find and keep jobs:

  • Priority Sectors – Project will focus on BC sectors that have current and sustained high employment demand and providing a pool of job ready candidates with specific skills. High demand sectors being considered include tourism, hospitality service, retail sales and community health.
  • Geo Mapping – Project will develop a searchable online geo-map database that can be accessed by all stakeholders to share, learn from, and disseminate innovative and effective practices across the province.  In particular, it’s a tool to assist the employment support system (schools, colleges, contracted employment providers, CLBC staff and individuals using individualized funding) to become more effective.

For a full copy of CLBC’s Community Action Employment Plan, visit www.communitylivingbc.ca.

Backgrounders:

Quotes:

CLBC Interim CEO Doug Woollard
“The Community Action Employment Plan is a response to a growing demand from the people CLBC serves. Over the last 25 years, work has taken place in B.C. to help increase employment for adults with developmental disabilities but previously there was little coordination.  The Plan is the first time the entire sector has worked together to map out a strategy to increase employment.  I am pleased at the success of this effort in the first year, and the progress already made through this collaboration.”

Dan Collins, Executive Director, Langley Association for Community Living
“When we first began talking about co-creating the Community Action Employment Plan, I was motivated because of my belief that it is only through collaboration across the sector with individuals, families and community that we can reach our goal.  After the first year of the Plan, and seeing the depth and breadth of work that has been sparked by the development of the Plan and the momentum that it has created, this belief and my commitment to collaboration has only been strengthened.”

Angela Clancy, Executive Director, Family Support Institute
“The Family Support Institute has been involved in the Community Action Employment Plan for the past year. We are pleased to see such a robust investment in employment supports and strategies to support individuals all over BC. We know that families want and appreciate asset focused dialogues and approaches to their sons and daughters, and these employment initiatives are a great way to do that.”

Julian, Self Advocate, Coquitlam Promoting Our Abilities Team
“One of my highlights from being part of work from the BC Self Advocacy Foundation project, which is also the thing I am most proud of, is when we would go to a particular business and the manager, they are extremely receptive, curious and on some level, excited about our project after talking to them about it.”

Susanna Gurr, Managing Director, BC Centre for Employment Excellence
“The BC Centre for Employment Excellence is pleased to collaborate with CLBC, service providers, self-advocates, employers and others on multiple initiatives to implement the Community Action Employment Plan. The Plan is a significant undertaking with its dedicated focus on employment. The collective work accomplished in the past year is moving the plan decisively toward its goals, and will result in more and better employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities who wish to work.”

Dr. Rachelle Hole, UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship
“Internationally, research underscores that employment is a key mechanism for enacting community inclusion, and research repeatedly demonstrates that employment enhances the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities.  It is exciting for the UBC Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship to be partnering with the UBC SpICE Lab, the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, CLBC and stakeholders across the community living sector to develop a mapping tool that will serve as a resource to learn about and share examples of innovation in employment, and to investigate the factors that contribute to a positive, inclusive employment for adults with developmental disabilities in B.C.”

Media contact:

Community Living British Columbia
604-209-7608