Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

Province invests over $357,000 in support service for employers, persons with disabilities (08/10/07)

NB 1453

Oct. 7, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is broadening opportunities for persons with disabilities to contribute to our economy and society. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty announced today that the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) has been selected as the service provider for a new provincial employer support service.

The service was a recommendation in Developing a Labour Market Participation Strategy for Persons with Disabilities in New Brunswick, a report from the Association for Community Living, and Disability Action Plan Strategy, a report from the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons.

Doherty said more than $357,000 is being invested over two years for the initiative.

"This action demonstrates that helping people with disabilities be more fully involved is a priority for this government," said Doherty. "Our department is ensuring that our programs and services respond to the needs of people with disabilities so they will be able to participate more easily in the labour market. As part of our shared goal of self-sufficiency, every New Brunswicker must have the opportunity to make a contribution to all areas of society. We must take full advantage of the talents and abilities of all our residents."

The CCRW has successfully worked with employers, persons with disabilities and community agencies in New Brunswick for a number of years. The provincially funded Employment Services Program has operated in Moncton for five years, while the federally supported Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program office has been located in Saint John since 2004.

"We are pleased to have been awarded this service to support the Government of New Brunswick in achieving its desired outcome of providing employers with information relating to the hiring of persons with disabilities," said Carole Barron, CCRW president and CEO.

A provincial co-ordinator of employer support services, responsible for training and providing information to employers, will be hired. The co-ordinator will be based in Moncton, and implementation of a detailed plan that integrates eight units of work will be key to his or her work.

The work includes outreach and the development of partnerships with employers and disability-related agencies throughout New Brunswick. The service will be operational in the coming weeks, and will develop a 1-800 bilingual telephone service, a bilingual website, and a marketing campaign to provide information and consultation services to employers seeking to hire.

"We are pleased to see that this new one-stop information service will soon be available to help employers hire more persons with disabilities," said Randy Dickinson of the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons. "This is the type of concrete support being initiated by this government that will help increase the rate of active participation in the workforce that we would like to achieve for persons with different disabilities."

The CCRW is a not-for-profit, cross-disability organization. For over 30 years it has been committed to promoting and supporting the meaningful and equitable employment of persons with disabilities. It responds to employment human resource needs through resource tools, service and support.

The program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick through the Canada New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement.

08/10/07

MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2568; Carole Barron, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, 416-260-3060. ext. 222

08/10/07