The Ontario government has spent $6.5 million to support five projects aimed at helping more than 3,770 people with disabilities find meaningful jobs with businesses in their communities. The projects connect jobseekers to careers in a variety of sectors, including health care, information technology, retail and hospitality. More than 2.6 million people in Ontario live with a disability, which can significantly increase risk of unemployment.
“At a time when nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled around the province, giving people with disabilities a fair shot at a life-changing job isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for the bottom line,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton back in May.
The first project is run by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It provides specialized employment services to 1,300 people who are blind, partially sighted or deafblind, providing one-on-one and peer support, skills building and goal-setting workshops, and accessible technology training needed to prepare for work with local employers.
The other four projects are run by Community Living Toronto, Do Good Donuts, the Geneva Centre for Autism and PTP Adult Learning & Employment Programs in partnership with George Brown College.
These programs can support 2,470 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who will have the chance to build in-demand skills, receive employment counselling, job coaching, hands-on training, and paid work placements. Additional mental health services will be available for those who need it.
These projects are funded through the $700-million Skills Development Fund, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. The government will be unveiling more programs to help people with disabilities in the coming months.
Ontario said statistics show businesses that hire people with disabilities have been shown to grow profits up to three times faster than their competitors.
Jobs of the Future is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.