We are celebrating! Champions Career Centre has been awarded a new two-year contract by Alberta Human Services to deliver employment services to Calgarians with disabilities and to employers interested in expanding their diversity and inclusion goals in the face of current labour shortages.
“We are delighted to receive the vote of confidence from Alberta Human Services to carry on the great work we have been doing in the community for the past 12 years,” said Lisa Moon, Champions’ Executive Director. “We have made substantial progress changing workplace perceptions about the tremendous value of people with disabilities, but there is still much to be done. One in six Albertans lives with a disability, so demand for our help is huge.”
Since Champions opened its doors over 35,000 clients have accessed our employment services. Our success is based on our “goal setting, person centred” approach allowing us to customize our services based on the needs of our clients. We recognize that each client is unique in how their disability impacts them and the accommodations they may require in the workplace. Clients tell us Champions is a supportive environment. Employers tell us Champions helps by keeping their bottom-line in mind. Both tell us they appreciate how we create a truly customized approach to all we do.
Champions’ services are provided at no cost to both employee candidates and employers. Government support is essential. Every funding proposal we submit competes with other service agencies, but with the Alberta Government warning budget cuts are looming our request faced increased scrutiny. This two-year commitment proves our services are recognized as unique and necessary and that the Government of Alberta supports our vision to change lives by creating inclusive workplaces and strong communities.
Champions has also been selected as a finalist for the Alberta Business Awards of Distinction Marketing Award. Our marketing campaign in 2012 was directed at raising the profile of our organization to attract and increase the amount of clients and employers accessing our services. All of our marketing efforts are part of our ongoing commitment to shift the perception of disabilities in the workplace and our community.
Our objectives to raise our profile to attract and increase clients and employers delivered impressive results. We recorded a 40% increase in the amount of people signing up for our employment services over the same period the year previous. With employers, we saw a 40% growth in the number of businesses accessing our disability awareness and inclusion sessions, an 80% increase in the available positions posted on the Champions website, and a 35% increase in phone calls to assist with employment retention.
To increase our client base, we targeted job seekers and people who may be struggling in their current role at work because of a disability. Our tagline, “Redefining Ability in the Workplace”, included a message that breaks down misconceptions about disabilities. We utilized transit ads, TV spots, and placed ads in grocery stores and in post-secondary institutions. To attract employers Champions placed ads in targeted publications and reached out directly to build or strengthen relationships.
“We are deeply honoured to be acknowledged for the work our team does every day to change lives in the community,” Moon said. “We worked hard in 2012 to change workplace perceptions, and we are delighted to be recognized for our efforts.” Moon credits Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator Rod Ruff with developing the campaign leading to the nomination. “Rod has done an outstanding job engaging with the community and introducing us to thousands of Calgarians,” she said. “We are very lucky to have him.”
The Awards will be announced March 8, 2013 at the Alberta Chamber of Commerce gala dinner in Edmonton.