EDITORIAL: Employers stepping up for inclusive hiring

Transitional job training and life skill support for youth with autism is lacking, but good work is being done locally to bridge the gap

Transitional job training and life skill support for youth with autism is lacking, but good work is being done locally to bridge the gap.

Today’s A1 stories on a made-in-Victoria (and Saanich) vocational support program for teens with autism, as well as Island Health’s state-of-the-art microbiology facility at Royal Jubilee Hospital, are both great examples of how our region is often at the forefront of new care initiatives.

The stories also similarly touch on a shrinking health care budget and show how innovative thinking can help us transition successfully through turbulent economic times.

It’s also encouraging to see Community Living BC work through its comprehensive, three-year Community Employment Action Plan, the result of huge consultation with social services stakeholders.

Although it will be a few years before we can judge the outcome, CLBC is making headway with employers who are willing to invest their time and training in order to create jobs for people in our community with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The shift towards inclusive hiring is apparent, and other agencies like GT Hiring Solutions and local Work BC employees deserve a tip of the hat for their tireless work promoting the “Just Makes Sense” campaign, which encourages employers to hire people with disabilities.

As Saanich teacher Mike Schulz points out in today’s A1 story, the Greater Victoria community is collectively responsible to ensure no one is left behind, and employers are often necessarily at the forefront of that culture change. If you’re an entrepreneur, hiring manager or employer, take a moment to look at the VITAL program (thevitalprogram.ca), which is actively seeking local employers to help with job placements for teens with autism.

Greater Victoria is a natural leader in new social ventures; do us proud and reach out to help once again.