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Offering employment opportunities

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 30/02) - If it wasn't for the EmployABILITY program, Nancy Desjarlais says she might be unemployed.

Desjarlais works as an administrative assistant for the program, which was formed from the merger of the Employment Support Services program and the Disabled Persons Work Strategy.

The programs were offered through the Yellowknife Association for Community Living and the NWT Council for Disabled Persons.

Desjarlais is among over 50 clients the service supports with job training, placement and job support.

"It's very, very valuable," she said. "I probably would be looking for work part-time on my own otherwise."

Rae Celotti, one of the co-ordinators with the program, said the service works hard to place people in jobs they want and will enjoy.

"We don't just stick them in a job," she said.

Clients of the program are employed in a variety of fields from retail to information technology to administrative services.

Celotti said many local employers have been very co-operative.

She said she is hoping that more employers will support the program, but there is always the issue of fighting stigmas.

"(Many) don't understand disabilities. You look at the individual first and you look at their ability, that's where EmployABILITY comes from," she said.

EmployABILITY is located at 4916 49th street.