The past few months for the team at the BACI Employment and Supported Training (BEST) program have been extremely busy with staffing shortages spreading everyone a little thin, but their dedication in the face of heavy workloads and the persistence of the people they support has paid off with four people recently landing new positions.
“The opportunities all seem to happen at once,” she says, adding that excitement really swells for BACI staff and all the people in the program when success like this pans out.
Everybody in the program is at different stages in terms of identifying their skills and interests and matching those with potential employers in the job market, so Cindy says there’s no one magic formula to help replicate these recent successes.
Steady determination is critical, as is a steady presence in the business community to help employers understand the value of inclusive hiring.
“It’s through networking with people that things come together,” Cindy says, “and persistence, I think would have to be the main thing.
“Once we get a person to their ICE or their ideal conditions of employment, then it’s about working to find that employer who’s willing to hire them.”
The road to economic inclusion certainly runs through meaningful employment, where a person who has an intellectual disability earns fair pay for real work, and Cindy says there has been progress as more employers open their minds to inclusive hiring, but there’s still a long way to go.
It’s not an easy job market for anybody in today’s economy, and the importance of dogged persistence, keeping in touch with potential employers, and networking can’t be stressed enough.
She says in light of the fact that the team has been working extremely hard lately, these successes really stand as a testament to the efforts of all to further the goals of economic inclusion for all, regardless of ability.
“It’s our existing staff, stepping up and doing what has to be done, persisting at something that we believe in.”
We’d love to hear your employment stories. Please contact kristian(at)axiomnews.ca or call 800-294-0051, ext. 24, to share yours.