Are you, or someone you know, a person with a disability looking for work? Or perhaps you are an employer looking to hire someone with a disability. Or maybe you are looking for services available to people with disabilities seeking employment?
If so, the Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC) EmployABILITY Employment Expo is the place you want to be.
This is the fifth event of its kind, taking place on Wed. Oct. 21 at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre Winnipeg at 1808 Wellington Avenue. The event starts at 7:30 a.m. with registration followed by breakfast.
“Our Keynote Breakfast Speaker is Mark Wafer, owner of six Tim Hortons locations in Toronto,” says Vanessa Hernandez, the Serving It Safe Coordinator of MTEC. “Mark and his wife Valerie currently employ 46 people with disabilities from a workforce of 250.”
The Trade Show will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will showcase products, services, jobs and career opportunities to create successful employment.
There will also be two breakout sessions with information to help Manitoba employers and persons with disabilities learn about inclusive employment opportunities in Manitoba.
The Trade Show and Breakout Sessions are free.
“The morning breakout session will run from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., where Mark Wafer will present ‘The business case for full inclusion’,” says Hernandez.
“The afternoon breakout session will run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and will feature Cargill Canada presenting ‘Inclusion and Diversity – Sharing Some of Our Journey.’”
Why is this needed?
According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, just over 2.1 million people between 25 to 64 years old, or 11% of the population between these ages, had some type of disability.
In 2011, the unemployment rate of persons aged 25 to 64 with disabilities was 11%, compared with 6% for people without a disability. The percentage of people with disabilities as employed or seeking employment was 55% compared with 84% for people without a disability.
Statistics Canada notes this may not be accurate, as often people with disabilities are discouraged from participating in the labour force.
What does Mark Wafer have to say?
Ontario’s Mark Wafer hires people with disabilities and finds it is good for his business. He cites factors such as lower turnover, accommodations that are not always costly, and employees who have a passion for their work.
While there is a shortage of labour in Canada, people with disabilities are a ready work force, with skills and abilities. He believes families need to talk about the expectation of work.
Wafer says his customers have not complained about his hiring practices but are actually loyal customers because they encounter friendly helpful employees.
In this video, Mark Wafer discusses the benefits of hiring people with disabilities:
EmployAbility Expo is a connecting point
There are many Manitobans with disabilities who are unable to secure jobs that allow them to apply their talents, become productive in the workforce, make a decent living, and achieve dreams they hold for themselves and their families.
With more opportunity, many Manitobans with disabilities could be productively engaged in the workforce.
People are encouraged to be proactive by attending the EmployAbility Expo to learn about inclusive employment for Manitobans with disabilities.
More information about this event can be obtained at http://employabilitymb.com/