May 13, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta

Calgary Alternative Employment Services (CAES), a program which assists job-seekers with disabilities and Calgary Businesses to connect and succeed, is launching a challenge to the city’s business community to employ fifty motivated job-seekers in fifty meaningful jobs within fifty weeks! The ‘Calgary Business Leadership Challenge 50-50-50’ initiative starts on Tuesday May 13, 2014 and will run for fifty consecutive weeks ending with a recognition event acknowledging the fifty employers who will have risen to the challenge.

Although Calgary had the second lowest unemployment rate and the country’s highest labour force participation rate in 2013, people with disabilities remain significantly underrepresented in the Calgary workforce (Labour Market Facts, Calgary Economic Development. 2014). Sean McEwen, program Manager at CAES states, “The labour market is changing and evolving much faster than publicly funded employment services. Our mission is to facilitate the workforce inclusion of under-represented, marginalized groups such as people with disabilities, but this task is impossible without the effective engagement of employers. The primary outcomes CAES facilitates are the same outcomes employers are looking for; engagement, job satisfaction, performance and job retention. All of our services are designed to meet that mutual goal.”

With these considerations in mind, CAES is launching the Calgary Business Leadership Challenge to engage the Calgary Business Community and promote inclusion, and employment for people with disabilities. McEwen elaborates, “Calgary business owners are extremely busy people who are understandably wary of anything that could jeopardize their success. Services like ours need to communicate the ‘alignment’ of our respective goals. We know that Calgary business owners care about their community. They’ve got a lot of heart and they’re always up for a challenge. We’ve got the perfect challenge for them.”

CAES has developed a website for employers which describes a range of employment services designed to meet the needs of employers as equally as they meet the needs of the qualified job-seekers CAES serves. The Talent Pool, Calgary’s Employers Resource and Information Hub, supports CAES in the 50-50-50 challenge. The Talent Pool mandate is to facilitate, inform, and support the collaboration between community organizations who tirelessly serve the needs of under-represented talent pools and the business community.

Click here for more information about the Business Challenge.  To become a Calgary Business Diversity Leader contact us today!

(CAES is a division of Calgary Alternative Support Services)