Is Community Inclusion Society a government program?
No, we are a not for profit but many of our programs are funded by government. For example, the NS Works program is funded by the NS Department of Labour Skills and Immigration and the Edge program is funded by the NS Department of Community Services.
In the valley, there are several different NS Works offices. How are they different?
They are not really different. Throughout Nova Scotia, there are 16 organizations who offer NS Works programming on behalf of the province. In the valley region, there are three organizations who offer NS Works programming (Community INC, Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association (VANSDA) and PeopleWorx). We all offer the same services to all job seekers and employers as NS Works Centres. We work closely together to serve the region and plan events that support job seekers and employers alike. Community INC offers a centre in Windsor and in Kentville alongside VANSDA. PeopleWorx offers NS Works centres in Coldbrook, Middleton and Annapolis Royal. Throughout Nova Scotia, you can find a NS Works centre to help you.
Which NS Works Centre should I contact?
You can choose to work with the centre closest to where you live or that is most convenient to you. You can choose where you would like to get the help you need.
Before NS Works was offered, Community INC served the employment needs of persons with disabilities. Where do people with disabilities go now for support?
Simple answer is that they can go to any NS Works centre. All of the extra resources, supports and training that Community INC was able to offer from 2002 to 2015 as the disability focused employment centre, we still offer. The great thing is that EVERY Nova Scotia centre throughout Nova Scotia does too. This includes staff with extra training, access to accommodations and assessments, job coaching and job development. The staff at NS Works also have training, resources and supports that help job seekers from all diverse backgrounds and diverse needs. We work with EVERYONE inclusive of education levels, all levels of disabilities and abilities, all genders, all gender identities, all sexualities, all cultures and ages. Every Nova Scotia Works centre can offer services to the full community.
Edge sounds like a great program. Do you have to be on Income Assistance to be a part of Edge?
Edge is a great program and we are thrilled to offer the program in partnership with the Portal. In the beginning, we could only accept referrals from local Income Assistance office for persons age 18-26 BUT that changed! We can now accept self referrals and community referrals for persons 18-26 years of age who are not on income assistance but who may need the support to find and keep employment. This is exciting. We can now help more young adults achieve their employment goals.
So does Community INC still work with persons with disabilities?
Yes! Even though NS Works is for everyone – many of the job seekers we work with and that other NS Works centres work with, are persons with disabilities. Nova Scotia has a high population of persons with disabilities (1/3) and because persons with disabilities have a higher rate of unemployment, approximately 60% of our NS Works clients are persons with disabilities. According to https://accessible.novascotia.ca/about-disability-nova-scotia, “Nova Scotians with disabilities are 23% less likely to be employed than Nova Scotians without disabilities.” Community INC continues to see the need to offer additional programs and events to help remove barriers to employment for persons with disabilities which includes improving accessibility, education to reduce stigma and events to celebrate the skills of the disability community.