Human Resources, Labour and Employment
October 14, 2008

Province Funds New Employment Skills Training Program for Autism Society

Providing the opportunity to successfully transition into the work force is the focus behind a new Community Partnership Grant for the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, announced $50,000 in funding for a new employment skills program at the Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism.

"Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian should have the opportunity to develop new skills that will help them succeed in the workforce and participate in the growth of our province," said Minister Skinner. "Our government believes that by working with the community we can provide programs and services that will allow for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder to reach their full potential."

The Aspire Employment Skills Training Program will introduce adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to new occupational skills and job placements, generating relationships with community employers. Programs such as office assistant, hospitality, maintenance as well as greenhouse and landscaping will be offered. These programs are designed to meet the needs of adult learners as well as the requirements of employers.

"The establishment of this program will promote independence and productivity," said Trish Williams, Executive Director, Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. "Inclusion in the workplace and in everyday life is important for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder and we appreciate the Provincial Government’s commitment to this program."

The Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador has also provided $50,000 in funding toward the program. Participants who have successfully completed the ASNL intake assessment group R.E.A.C.H. (Recreation, Education, Activities, Community, Hope) will be eligible to participate in the new vocational program.

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Media contacts:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources,
Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903
ronaldawalsh@gov.nl.ca
Trish Williams
Executive Director
Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-722-2803
info@autism.nf.net

2008 10 14                                                     1:40 p.m.


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