On September 19, the “Employment Connectors SD&G” was introduced to people with disabilities. Over the last few months, all three Community Living agencies have joined forces to develop and promote this initiative across Stormont (Cornwall), Dundas (Morrisburg), and Glengarry (Alexandria).
The program was made possible when Community Living Glengarry received a two-year grant through the Ministry of Community Social Services under the Employment Modernization Fund. “Although we are individual agencies, we stand united with our belief in employment supports. We believe that people with intellectual disabilities have the right to work in their communities and to earn a fair wage for the work they do,” said Michelle Alguire, executive director of Community Living Stormont.
Some of the services provided from the Employment Connectors will be to:
-Engage and recruit new employers
-Facilitate on site job coaching
-Help them understand the benefit and rewards of hiring people with intellectual disabilities
-Provide resources and tools that employers will need to educate and train employees to do their jobs
“We are anxious and excited to see how the program will be implemented and rolled out in our communities,” said Alguire.
“We assembled a tool kit that includes a promotional video that will hopefully be used across the province to assist other agencies in rural areas,” said Maurice Dupelle, manager of Community Living Glengarry. “This new service will enable the three agencies to engage with employers and connect the people we support to achieve meaningful employment within their community”, said Dupelle.
“An employment task force will be developed within each agency that will unite business owners and community members to network and connect with potential new employers within our communities,” said Dupelle. “Twice a year, all three task forces will gather together as one to discuss their success and information that will benefit each task force moving forward.”
The logo and branding is the same within all three communities, making it easy for people to find. Debbie Boardman thanked one of the men involved in the moving promotional video who works at Foodland in Winchester. “Thank you Jeffrey for giving us the opportunity to share your story,” said Boardman.
Two adults with disabilities who work part-time are grateful for the opportunity to work. “I’ve been working since 2012. I make good money and I am saving to go to Cuba!” said Larry Runions. Denise Lapierre says she loves to work at cleaning toys and bathrooms and that she just recently bought herself a tablet! Pride and joy radiated from their faces with a sense of accomplishment.
Team of directors and supervisors from all three counties, top left: Brenda Cooper Cassell, Brenda Laviolette, Randy Fiddler, Warren Fitzpatrick, Yvette Rudy, Nicole Paquette, Connie Hurtubise, Julie Bourgon, Maurice Dupelle
Sitting from left: Renée Piché, Debbie Boardman, Michelle Alguin, Danielle Duranceau