Whatever happened to that Ontario Trillium Foundation grant?
Well, we’re glad you asked. Our consultants Sheila and Gerda have been working away on activities related to the OTF grant. You may remember that the purpose of the employment-related grant was not to find a bunch of jobs for people but rather, to make cultural changes to encourage people to consider employment as an option when looking at what they wish to do and how they wish to participate in the community. We have also looked at organizational changes that could make it easier to support individuals who are interested in pursuing employment.
And we have learned or been reminded of lots of things including:
- there are many myths about the impact of earning money on ODSP benefits
- many people underestimate what they are capable of doing
- sometimes, when an individual is supported to get an entry-level job, we feel like the job placement work is done, rather than seeing the job as a stepping-stone to further advancement
- jobs provide a lot more than money – they also provide a feeling of contributing and a social network
- employers can be the biggest advocates for hiring as they see the bottom-line positive results
- our language needs to reflect that we are helping to solve a labour shortage, not asking for a charitable deed
Information continues to be collected and will be pulled together into a final report that will be submitted to the Ontario Trillium Foundation before the end of the year. It will include the final results of surveys and other information-gathering.