Celebrating Disability Employment Month
This September marks the sixth annual Disability Employment Month in British Columbia. It is an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique abilities of many employees, as well as recognizing the inclusive employers and communities who support their success.
COVID-19’s impact on the labor market has resulted in record-high unemployment rates in every demographic. Research has shown that individuals with disabilities face higher than average rates of unemployment and are more than twice as likely, when compared to the general population, to be living in poverty. People with disabilities also have difficulty finding work, and when they do it is often in the retail and food sectors– both of which have shed the most jobs during the pandemic.
Meanwhile we have an aging workforce and employers are searching for long-term, reliable employees who bring innovative ideas and multiple perspectives. Individuals with disabilities are ready, willing, and able to meet this need.
In fact, studies show that diverse and inclusive workplaces are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, six times more likely to be innovative and six times more likely to effectively anticipate change. Among employees with disabilities, staff retention was 72% higher and employers noted that performance was equal to, or better than, co-workers 90% of the time.
WorkBC Employment Services offers resources and support that consider the business needs of an employer and the skill set of a job seeker. When people with disabilities are placed in positions that play to their interests and expertise they excel in their work, have greater independence, increased purchasing power, and fuller engagement. In turn, the community benefits from the ingenuity and resourcefulness of an inclusive employment community.
To learn more about the services available contact your local WorkBC Centre in Cranbrook, Fernie or Invermere.
This program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.