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New provincial funding helps people with disabilities return to work

B.C is helping those living with developmental disabilities return to the workforce.

The province announced that it will commit a $10-million investment to help those with disabilities who are eligible for Community Living BC (CLBC) services return to work.

“Many people with developmental disabilities are precariously employed,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

 “This funding will support those laid off due to the pandemic to get back to work while assisting other people to enter the labour force.”

Of the new funding, the province says $9.7 million will be used to supplement CLBC funded employment support services and will help around 1,100 people with disabilities who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The money can be used to hire additional employment support staff to help people find or reconnect to employment, support with job searching, assist individuals to understand and follow COVID-19 workplace requirements and help people reconnect with former employers to find out if an individual can be rehired.

The province says the remaining $300,000 will go towards improving digital literacy throughout B.C for all individuals CLBC serves, so they can enhance their employment prospects, work more from home and benefit from more social connections.

“We know COVID-19 has added new barriers to employment for nearly 1,100 CLBC clients,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. 

“By increasing the number of support staff and resources available, more people with disabilities will be able to return to work and secure safe, new employment opportunities in communities across the province.”

The grants are expected to help CLBC eligible people who lost employment due to COVID-19 re-enter the workforce over the next two years. 

Applications open at 7:00 am on Monday, January 25th for eligible employment service providers and will be accepted until midnight on February 15th. 

To learn more, visit the Government of British Columbia’s website

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