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Long Branch - New Toronto - Mimico : Innovation + Job News

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Federal government announces $11.4M in job support for those with autism

"People with developmental disabilities have much to contribute in the Canadian labour market. Yet, existing research suggests that the rate of employment among this population is much lower than it needs to be."

That was the comment from Dr. David Nicholas, associate professor of social work at the University of Calgary, upon hearing the news that the federal government will be investing in new job support for youth with autism spectrum disorders.

Announced as part of the federal budget, the government is investing $11.4 million over four years in a program called CommunityWorks Canada.

The program is modelled on one that is currently available in Calgary. The funding will go to developing a national network of cities that offer similar services. Program participants, who range in age from 12 to 24, will work on developing key social, communications, and problem-solving skills that are essential in any employment environment. The program is delivered via one-on-one peer mentoring, and the ultimate goal is to equip participants with the capacity to pursue work successfully, and live more independent lives.

Some details are still in the works, but a representative from the Etobicoke-based
Autism Speaks Canada—which will be operating the program in partnership with the Calgary-based Sinneave Family Foundation—told us that the plan is to have two or three of the new centres open within the next two years, and a total of six centres (including the original Calgary location) open in four years. Organizers are hoping to ramp up to 1,200 participants per year, across all of the locations.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Carrie Habert, Marketing Director, Autism Speaks Canada

North America's first parcel pick-up network launches in the GTA

Every so often—and especially at this time of year, when many of us are ordering presents and holiday gear—you come home to one of those annoying notices flapping on your door. Missed delivery.

To help shoppers (and the businesses trying to send them their goods) avoid that frustration, a new network of parcel pick-up stations has just launched in the GTA called BufferBox. There will be eight stations in Toronto by the end of this week, with several more elsewhere in the region. Another 10 are expected by year's end, with the goal of expanding nationwide.

To use the service, someone signs up with BufferBox and selects a home location—one of the pick-up stations that have been installed—and then provides that address to a company when ordering items for delivery. When the parcel arrives, BufferBox puts the package in a locker within the station, and then sends you an email with single-use PIN, which you use to open the box and retrieve your item.

The initial set of locations is geared to commuters and transit users: in its first partnership, BufferBox is working with Metrolinx and has installed parcel boxes in five GO stations (Union, Clarkson, Burlington, Oakville, and Port Credit). Three other parcel stations are in 7-Eleven locations, and in the near future, BufferBox also hopes to announce a supermarket partner.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Brad Moggach, Sales & Marketing Director, BufferBox

Ken Cox Community Centre opens in Etobicoke, employs 32

Locals and politicians from in the Lakeshore community of Etobicoke came out to the official opening of Ken Cox Community Centre on May 15. The new facility, which is situated adjacent to parkland with a view of the lake, was built at 28 Colonel Samuel Smith Drive on the site of Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School in an arrangement between the Separate School Board and the city.

According to Karen Nesbitt of the city's Parks, Forestry and Recreation department, the community centre employs two full-time staff,   coordinator and a custodian. In addition, the centre will employ 30 part-time staff administering recreation programs that include sports, fitness and dance classes.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Karen Nesbitt, Parks, Recreation and Forestry

Got an Innovation & Job News tip? Email edward@yongestreetmedia.ca.
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