A Creston farm that houses and employs people with disabilities will be able to thrive as a result of more than $84,000 in provincial funding.
The Kootenay Region Association for Community Living (KRACL) is participating in a Job Creation Partnership with the B.C. government that is giving three people valuable work experience in construction by mentoring them through the renovation of a residential building, a canning building and a storefront on the Spectrum Farms property.
The participants will be at work for 26 weeks as they renovate the three buildings, which are in a state of disrepair, gaining construction skills that will help them find a job once the project is complete.
KRACL’s farm is its sole source of income. It currently employs people with disabilities and developmental disorders who have unique needs, while also providing them with a low-cost place to live. Currently, eight people with disabilities work at the farm cultivating crops and managing chickens and sheep to sell eggs and wool, while one person lives on the farm with subsidized rent .
Once complete, the KRACL farm will be able to house nine people in need in the Kootenays while a new storefront will provide a better place to sell the farm’s products to continue to expand its operations and provide space for people with disabilities to live and work in a low-cost setting.
The Job Creation Partnership stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program is providing funding for the project.
Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of British Columbia’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour-market information.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and supports people’s needs to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,200 job seekers have benefited from work experience, and more than 240 projects have been funded throughout the province.
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched two years ago to help British Columbians get the skills they need to be first in line for the almost one million job openings that are projected by 2025, and to re-engineer B.C.’s education programs toward a data-driven system focusing investments toward training for in-demand jobs.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“This project blends work experience with a great community project. Three people will gain the skills they need to enter the construction industry on a full-time basis and they will have a substantial community project to point to as part of their resumes. It’s one more way our government is helping people fit in today’s job market.”
Ed Swanson, president, Kootenay Region Association for Community Living –
“The Job Creation Partnership program has allowed us to continue developing Spectrum Farms as a local food producer and processor and to get a start on our housing project for our workers and other individuals with disabilities that need a safe and affordable place to live.”
Trevor Dougdale, project participant –
“This program has allowed me to hone and update my skills in construction. This will definitely help me to get a job in construction.”
- Local WorkBC Employment Services Centres play a lead role in connecting eligible job seekers to Job Creation Partnership and Project-Based Labour Market Training opportunities in their communities. Once the right match of client to project has been found, the effort of the WorkBC centre continues by providing financial supports and services to ensure success.
- In 2016/17, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible for Community and Employer Partnerships funding?
- Non-profit organizations
- Crown corporations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
Find out more about the Kootenay Association for Community Living: http://www.kracl.org/
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/