Community Living North Bay assisting people with disabilities find employment
October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. This month highlights the importance of diversity in the workforce and the opportunities those who have a disability provide at their job.
Community Living North Bay is a non-profit organization that assists people with disabilities and their families. It help find jobs for those with disabilities seeking employment.
When Mathew Tresnak was only 2-years-old, he was diagnosed with cancer. The radiation caused him to become developmentally delayed.
With the help of Community Living North Bay, he now works part time at TCM Produce in the city.
“I recently just passed a year at TCM,” he explained. “During COVID, I was recently trying to find a job and they called me last September and told me about the job.”
As part of his job, Tresnak is a cleaner, maintenance worker and also assists in putting produce away.
“I was nervous at first once I first started,” he recalled. “But once I got the hang of it, it’s become a breeze it seems.”
To help those with intellectual like Mathew, Community Living North Bay has a program called ‘Employment First’ managed by Mackenzie Mannering.
“We look for competitive employment and we work with the business community and the candidate to find a good fit for the person that we’re supporting,” said Mannering.
The Employment First program has been running since 2009. Over the years, Mannering says all types of people with all types of intellectual disabilities seek employment and Community Living North Bay points them in the right direction.
“We love seeing everyone working out in the community and it’s great hearing how it’s changed their life,” she said. “We work with many different industries, restaurants, grocery stores and car dealerships. You name it.”
Tresnak credits Community Living North Bay for helping him with his employment.
“If someone asked me how I like working, I always tell them that community living always helps people that have a disability,” he concluded.
According to statistics from the Ontario Disability Employment Network, 78 per cent of Canadians are more likely to buy from a business that hires workers with a disabilities.
Community Living North Bay’s Employment First team will be lighting up city hall purple and blue on Thursday, Oct. 21 as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The ‘Light It Up! For NDEAM’ is a one-night-only, co-ordinated special lighting event happening across Canada.
It's aimed at spotlighting the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and their communities, helping companies be successful and competitive.