Alberta program serves up success for job seekers

EDMONTON, Aug. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections project is a big success in the province's restaurant and foodservice industry. Over the past year, 88 job seekers who face employment challenges have landed jobs thanks to this innovative program, which has just been extended to May 2016.

Hakim McLaren, who has cerebral palsy and a hearing impairment, is one of the program's many success stories. He was hired by Dairy Queen franchisee Michael Liber, who customizes roles so that employees like Hakim can be successful.

"The Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections pilot is an excellent example of how innovative thinking can help support vulnerable members of our community when they are looking for good and stable jobs," says Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson. "Our government is committed to ensuring all Albertans have access to a safe and fair workplace where they can prosper and succeed. We are encouraged to see this program extended into 2016 and support not only people as they find good jobs, but also help businesses meet their labour demands."

"A high percentage of the participants are taking the life-changing step of landing their first job," says Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. "And, the program is helping restaurants deal with long-term labour shortage issues. But the real win here has been the wealth of success stories."

The Alberta Foodservice Labour Connections Pilot Project was launched in 2014, and is funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour in collaboration with Restaurants Canada. The program gives disadvantaged individuals the chance to build a rewarding career in a restaurant or foodservice business, by connecting Edmonton-area Restaurants Canada members with employment service agencies.

Restaurants Canada is a growing community of 30,000 foodservice businesses, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and suppliers. We connect our members from coast to coast, through services, research and advocacy for a strong and vibrant restaurant industry. Canada's restaurant industry directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs, and serves 18 million customers every day.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview with program participants: 
Mark von Schellwitz
Vice President Western Canada, Restaurants Canada
1-866-300-7675 or

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