Many Kootenay businesses are facing difficulty these days due to labour shortages in the area. Unbeknownst to many Kootenay employers, there’s an untapped job force out there that is being underutilized. For some, like the intellectually disabled, they want to work but haven’t been given an opportunity to contribute.

(L to R) Kieran O’Grady, Donna Schwartz, Kimberly Earl, Felicia McKenzie and Sheila Neidig work at Java Creek Café inside Joseph Creek Care Village in Cranbrook. — Photo courtesy Ana Yost
(L to R) Kieran O’Grady, Donna Schwartz, Kimberly Earl, Felicia McKenzie and Sheila Neidig work at Java Creek Café inside Joseph Creek Care Village in Cranbrook.
— Photo courtesy Ana Yost

“Every adult individual has the right to work,” said Taylor-Johnson, co-managing executive director and co-founding member of REALM. “They need to have opportunities to be employed and the expectation for fair compensation.”

REALM (Realize Empowerment Access Life to Maximum) is an employment-first service agency that supports individuals with disabilities when they are ready to look for employment. The organization considers a prospective employee’s personal assets, skills, interests and talents to find employment matches.

“Through matching, there is a suitable opportunity for any person that chooses to be employed,” said Taylor-Johnson.

Read the full article here at kootenaybiz.com