O’LEARY -- There are some Community Inclusions clients who have enjoyed placements in the community for upwards to 25 years, acknowledges Natalie Horne-Gallant, employment counselor with the program’s Employment Unit.
There are, however, several clients who are still seeking employment.
Horne-Gallant said she and assistant counselor Megan Gallant plan to reach out to employers throughout the West Prince Region in the coming months to discuss the benefits to the employer and the employee in hiring Community Inclusions clients.
“Things generally are quieter this time of year and it should be a great time to speak to employers,” Horne-Gallant said of the timing of their campaign.
Surveys of employers reveal overwhelming benefits from hiring a person with an intellectual disability. Those benefits include lower turnover rates.
A person with an intellectual disability is five times more likely to remain on the job, she explained. Community Inclusions clients, she said a worker with an intellectual disability is five times more likely to remain on the job.
Average scores given by employers were 93 per cent for both hardworking and positive attitudes, 90 per cent for reliability and for dedication and 97 per cent for job safety.
The Employment Unit helps match clients to the workforce, including participation in a working interview and familiarizing the client with the job duties.
They also provide one-to-one onsite training and monitoring of job placements.
Horne-Gallant said the bulk of their current placements are in the O’Leary area. “We’re hoping that other communities will begin to open their doors to our program as well,” she added.
The Employment Unit’s staff is working on gathering information to let employers know just what they can do and how they can provide an inclusive workforce.