We are very pleased to report that EARN has secured new Trillium Foundation funding. This three-year grant (2021 – 2024) will enable the network to expand its activities beyond Ottawa into the broader footprint of United Way East Ontario i.e., within the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County, helping 1500 more people with disabilities to find and retain employment.
Beginning in early 2021, this funding will also afford opportunities for EARN to increase and deepen its relationships with federal government departments and build a strategy to support the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act. It will also enable better understanding of local employment opportunities and the barriers that persons with disabilities face in different sectors of the economy.
Deliverables for the project can be summarized as follows:
- Conducting research to understand the economic growth sectors, and the unique opportunities and challenges of rural communities within East Ontario and sharing research findings with service provider members;
- Implementing recommendations from Moving Towards Improved Employment Outcomes for Post-Secondary Graduates with Disabilities in East Ontario, the report that will be launched on November 19th at EARN’s upcoming Annual Conference;
- Developing and implementing an Outreach Strategy to expand the EARN model into the footprint of United Way East Ontario;
- Scaling up outreach strategically to employers based on economic growth sectors and ensuring that jobseekers are matched by skills;
- Providing education and training to job seekers;
- Increasing the knowledge and commitment of employers to attract and retain people with disabilities in the workforce, including leveraging the “Building Disability Confidence Workshop”;
- Exploring innovative tools such as social enterprise, social procurement and community benefit agreements to help people with disabilities have further options for access to the labour market;
- Hosting networking and learning events, job match conference calls, the EARN Conference, and career events such as career fairs; and
- Building an evaluation component into project activities and ensuring Trillium Project targets are met.
As more details on the rollout of this new project becomes available, we shall share them. We thank all our members and friends for their contributions to EARN. Your continued participation and leadership are invaluable.