Announcement: Centre for Excellence in Employment Services for People with a Disability

The Ontario Disability Employment Network is thrilled to announce the creation and formal launch of the brand new Centre for Excellence in Employment Services for People with a Disability.

This initiative will bring additional resources and help us strengthen our efforts in our employer engagement initiatives and work towards building and enhancing the capacity of the service sector to better understand and fulfill the needs of the business sector when it comes to recruiting and on-boarding people who have a disability.

A brief overview can be found below and the Minister’s public launch at Vos Independent Grocers in Port Perry can be viewed by following this link. (More information also listed below)

Joe Dale, Executive Director

Objective:

To ensure Ontario builds and maintains the best possible employment service delivery network. A delivery network that is responsive to the employment needs of people who have a disability and that achieves the best possible outcomes by fostering and promoting the highest standards of practice for employment service providers across the province.

The Centre for Excellence will develop a training and consulting capacity and focus its work in 4 key areas:

Training & Development

Establish on-going, low cost training across the province to upgrade skills and establish consistency across service providers and professionals in the province

Work toward providing professional certification/designation for employment service employees

Work with Colleges and Universities to include core curriculum on employment service skills for rehabilitation, counselling, DSW and related degree and diploma programs

Coordinate with MCSS Human Resource strategy to include employment specialization within the context of its ‘core competencies’ work

Marketing and Employer Engagement

Working closely with MEDEI and the Partnership Council

Build on recent employer awareness/education programs E.g. Champion’s League, Rotary at Work, etc.

Innovation & Best Practice

Innovation must be built into the system. It does not happen by accident.

Identify and study best practices and models and develop strategies to replicate these across Ontario. Many can be built into training programs and other existing structures and strategies.

Create a recognition program for superior performers

Community Networks

Coordination of community networks

Assistance to establish networks where they currently don’t exist

Information and resource transfer between networks

How will the employment service sector benefit from a Centre for Excellence?

Resources that will be provided for Employment Service Agencies

  • Training in employment services
  • Consulting assistance in areas of strategic planning, service delivery transition, action plans, etc.
  • Coordination of marketing/employer engagement initiatives
  • Problem solving and trouble-shooting
  • Transfer of information and skills, best practices, etc.
  • Continuous quality enhancement
  • A connection to the business sector

Resources that will be provided for the Business Sector

  • Education and training related to hiring people who have a disability
  • Clearing house
    • Connecting businesses to service agencies to fulfill their need for candidates and support services
    • Connecting businesses to candidates who may not be, or may not need to be connected to agencies
  • Consulting Services for larger businesses that want to create strategies or modify recruitment processes and structures to effectively engage people with a disability in their workforce.

Resources for people who have a disability

  • Information and assistance related to understanding and navigating the employment service delivery system
  • Connection to appropriate employment services in their local area
  • Connection to employment opportunities where no agency involvement is required
  • Assurance that the employment service system is of high standards and quality

Resources that can be provided for Government

  • Consultation on various Government councils, task forces and working groups, both formal and informal
  • Expertise and training for Government employees and managers
  • Assistance to modernize services and supports
  • A connection to the business sector

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