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Inclusion Alberta desperately seeking companies to employ workers with intellectual disabilities

Inclusion Alberta has a waiting list of close to 200 people with intellectual disabilities looking for work in Calgary. It's in need of employers to register in its Rotary Employment Partnership to find jobs for them.

"We believe that businesses need a partner to create an intentional pathway into an organization where Inclusion Alberta in our case, can work with that employer to help identify potential roles," said Wendy McDonald, the chief operating officer of Alberta Inclusion. "Then we identify potential candidates that we present to the employer who they're going to interview and hire based on their choice."

McDonald came up with the partnership idea in 2001. She's a Rotarian and her 29-year-old son, Kyle has an intellectual disability. She says many people in this demographic want to work.

"The research on hiring from this population is lower absenteeism, better safety records, improved culture, the business case is solid," she said. "So once we have employers that have done this, they actually become our best allies."

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