The Rotary Club of Lloydminster is celebrating 16 years of helping businesses in the area become inclusive employers.

The club was awarded the Frank Devlyn Award which recognizes Rotary clubs who at least 5 per cent of members created or found jobs for people with developmental disabilities. The Rotary Club of Lloydminster created 6 jobs in the past year.

Rotary Employment Partnership Coordinator Angela Koch says many people with intellectual disabilities want to work and are looking for opportunities to work.

“It’s been amazing to see individuals who are excited to work and are able to work have the opportunity to work. We can see the difference in the community with employers have actually felt the shift in their environment towards being more inclusive which has created a positive outpouring in the community and within the workplaces.”

Koch says over 75 per cent of individuals with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed and the Employment Partnership helps create new opportunities for those looking for work.

At the meeting, Kathy Jeffrey the Human Resource Manager with the County of Vermilion River spoke about her experience employing someone with an intellectual disability. In 2016, the county hired Teagan Bruce as an Administrative Assistant.

“When Teagan first joined us she was a little bit reserved and I believe she has really come out of her shell. She’s a fine young lady who is willing to tackle any task we give her.”

Jeffrey says employing someone with a disability changes the workplace for the better as it’s mutually beneficial for both. She fully supports employers hiring someone with an intellectual disability.

“It’s really made us look at our own processes and the things we do and how we can do them better. We can distribute some tasks and with a bit of guidance we can have somebody else do it very capably.”

Since 2004, the Lloydminster Rotary Club has created 85 jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities and the Rotary Clubs across Alberta have created over 560 jobs.