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Ontario launches free job training in hospitality and retail for people with disabilities

By Canadian Pizza   

News Business and Operations Staffing

Toronto — The Ontario government helping fund five innovative projects to help more than 3,770 people with disabilities find meaningful jobs with businesses in their communities. These projects will connect jobseekers to careers in hospitality, retail, health care and other fields.

“At a time when nearly 300,000 jobs are going unfilled around the province, giving people with disabilities a fair shot at a life-changing job isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also good for the bottom line,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, in a news release. “Our government is proud to invest in training programs that will lift people living with physical or intellectual disabilities up, giving them training and confidence they need to find meaningful work, earn a good paycheque, and lead purpose-driven lives.”

“Businesses that hire people with disabilities have been shown to grow profits up to three times faster than their competitors,” according to the release.

The first project announced, run by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, will be providing specialized employment services to 1,300 people who are blind, partially sighted or Deafblind. The program will provide one-on-one and peer support, skills building and goal-setting workshops, and accessible technology training needed to prepare for work with local employers.


The other four projects are run by Community Living Toronto, Do Good Donuts, the Geneva Centre for Autism and PTP Adult Learning & Employment Programs in partnership with George Brown College. These programs will support 2,470 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who will have the chance to build in-demand skills, receive employment counselling, job coaching, hands-on training, and paid work placements. Additional mental health services will be available for those who need it.

“MyJobMatch is changing the way the developmental services sector approaches employment,” said Brad Saunders, CEO of Community Living Toronto. “We make supported employment easier by quickly matching job seekers with employers based on the skills, experience, and values employers are looking for. We welcome this important funding that will empower people with a developmental disability to participate in their own job search.”

These projects are funded through the Skills Development Fund, a $700 million initiative, which supports programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. The government will be announcing more programs to help people with disabilities in the coming months.

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