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Feds announce $1.4M in funds for Spark Employment

Funding will be used to increase access to employment opportunities for people with disabilities
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Spark Employment Services is launching a new program for people with disabilities and employers called EDGE+ with $1.4 million in federal funding. On hand for the announcement is (from left) Robin Bower, program manager at Spark, Chantal Makela, CEO of Spark, and MP Viviane Lapointe.

Spark Employment Services in Greater Sudbury will be able to help more people with disabilities enter the job market with new federal funding.

Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe announced this week that Spark is receiving $1,498,597 under the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.

Over two years, the funding will allow Spark Employment Services to launch a new program to assist 40 people with disabilities and 130 employers. 

"Spark Employment Services is thrilled for the opportunity to launch the E.D.G.E.+ program designed to empower inclusion through program development, accessibility training, and by championing best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Chantal Makela, CEO Spark Employment Services, in a news release. “Over the next two years, we commit to being a resource that fosters inclusion and creates meaningful work opportunities for all. Our focus is on removing barriers and  fostering mutually beneficial work opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities and enrich  workplaces."

This project aligns with the Opportunities Fund (OF) program objective to support persons with  disabilities prepare for, find, and maintain employment or to become self-employed, in order to increase their economic participation and independence, and also to provide support to employers to help them  make their workplaces more inclusive and accessible. 

The OF brings together employers and employees with disabilities, to increase the participation of  working-aged persons with disabilities in the workforce. The objective of the program is to assist persons  with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, advance in their careers, or become self-employed. 

According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, the employment rates of persons with  disabilities are much lower than those of Canadians without disabilities — 59 per cent versus 80  per cent.


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