Cathy Laycock, left, and Kim Jensen, both community development coordinators with Inclusion Lloydminster provided the Rotary Club of Lloydminster with an update on the Rotary Employment Partnership to hire more persons with intellectual disabilities. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
The Rotary Club of Lloydminster got a refresher primer on the benefits of the Rotary Employment Program in partnership with Inclusion Lloydminster.
Community development coordinators Cathy Laycock and Kim Jensen reminded the Monday club luncheon that the program has created more than 67 jobs in the Border City in the past 12 years.
“These are real jobs for real pay where adults with developmental disabilities are fully included,” said Jensen who has been working for Inclusion Lloydminster since June.
The parent organization Inclusion Alberta has created more than 450 jobs since the inception of the provincial Rotary Employment partnership, with Lloydminster being the second of five cities to hop onboard.
Employers range from small companies to major international firms including some unionized workplaces.
The types of jobs include office, manufacturing, hospitality, technology and transportation with wide range of job descriptions and responsibilities.
Laycock said she and Jensen act as local liaisons between jobseekers with intellectual disabilities and potential employers.
“We’re connected to job seekers; we connect them to potential employers who want to hire,” said Laycock.
“So we help go through the process of who would be suited for what kind of positions.”
She said what’s important to recognize is the qualities that they have and what they can bring – those hidden talents and interests that not many people have been able to discover sometimes.
“We help to pull that out —that’s how we help them figure out where would be a good place to work.” said Laycock about the clients.
Jensen noted 18 people in Lloydminster are currently working in real jobs earning an average wage of $14 an hour in part time or full-time positions.
The presentation revealed that 86 per cent of people with developmental disabilities rated average or higher on workplace attendance than their non-disabled colleagues.
“They are given an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have been given, so they really are set up for success and be able to shine,” said Jensen.
For employers, Jensen said, their workplace is transformed by the people they employ.
“They have a lesser turnover rate—just their dedication from the employees, and just being able to make an impact of some of these lives for an inclusive community,” she said, among the positives.
In other Rotary news, Delaney Bugiera, a certified health care aide with the Lloydminster Hospital and a volunteer firefighter is fundraising to join a 10-day mission to Guatemala with Change for Children.
Change for Children provides dental and vision care to impoverished indigenous people around the world.
She’ll be travelling as part of an entourage including Lloydminster dentist Nekky Jamal on Feb. 10 if she can raise $3,850 for accommodation and travel.
She’s raised about $1,500 so far.
Bugiera has launched a bottle drive and a donation portal at her GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/ffctpf-guatemala-missions-trip.
Text her at 780 214-5133 to pick up bottles.