Government of Canada helps raise employers' awareness of the potential of people with disabilities

BRANTFORD, ON, March 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping promote the important contributions people with disabilities can make to the Canadian economy. The announcement was made by Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. To address skills shortages, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so," said Mr. McColeman. "People with disabilities face particular challenges entering the job market and that's why partnerships with organizations such as L. Tara Hooper and Associates are so important."

L. Tara Hooper and Associates Inc. is receiving over $24,000 through the federal Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to raise awareness of the employment barriers faced by people with disabilities and their important contribution to the Canadian workforce. On Access Employment Day in Brantford, local employers will have the opportunity to attend a disability awareness seminar and hear from industry leaders on the benefits and best practices associated with hiring people with disabilities.

"L. Tara Hooper and Associates Inc. is pleased to have received funding for the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Access Employment Day event," said Lisa Tara Hooper, President of L. Tara Hooper and Associates Inc. "Through this event, people with disabilities and local employers will gain valuable information that will help increase job opportunities for people with disabilities who are capable of working and want to participate in the labour force."

Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers, but they remain under-represented in the workforce. That is why the Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2012, is investing an additional $30 million in the Opportunities Fund to help more people with disabilities gain the hands-on experience they need to find jobs.

The new investment will be dedicated to national projects that connect people with disabilities with jobs in small- or medium-sized enterprises. Some of the projects will also promote to employers the valuable contribution that people with disabilities can make to their businesses and the Canadian economy.

To this end, Economic Action Plan 2012 announced the creation of a Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The Panel identified private sector successes and best practices regarding employing, retaining and accommodating Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, and better connecting these workers with potential employers. The Panel also identified barriers to employing people with disabilities.


Backgrounder


The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed. The Government of Canada invests $30 million annually through this program to connect individuals with the skills and work experience needed to participate fully in the economy.

For more information, or to propose a project, visit servicecanada.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

Marian Ngo
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley
819-994-2482

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
819-994-5559
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IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.

This news release is available online at: actionplan.gc.ca.


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