FAST for Employment


image What is Focusing Access on Skills and Training (FAST) For Employment?

Focusing Access on Skills and Training (FAST) For Employment is an employment program that ILRC Thunder Bay facilitates to assist individuals with disabilities who have little or no labour force experience to develop and obtain the necessary skills to attain and retain employment. FAST For Employment programming is funded in part by the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to assist persons with disabilities to actively and competitively participate in the labour force. This program is designed for persons with disabilities in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario who are serious about following through with their employment goals, who are independent and who are work ready.


Who is eligible for the FAST For Employment Program?

  • You self-disclose a disability (medical verification NOT required)
  • You are legally entitled to work in Canada and you have a SIN number
  • NOT eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits (including 'Reachback')
  • You are unemployed (working less than 20 hours per week)

Selection of Participants for the FAST For Employment Program:

The following points are some of the considerations we must determine when selecting eligible participants to then enter the program.  Please note, we must check ALL prospective participants' eligibility with the Government of Canada BEFORE we can move on to consider your involvement in the FAST for Employment Project.  Not all eligible applicants will necessarily be selected as program participants. 

Some of the factors we will consider when selecting eligible applicants for participation in the project are:

  • We have a limited capacity of participants the project can work with in total: This project is a continual intake project, but there are cut-off dates that  we can start participants in certain types of areas of focus.  We will discuss this in detail during a participant's intake an assessment interviews.
  • Your past involvement in similar employment programs at ILRC:  We are not able to work with participants that have been open in recently ended Creating Employability Options (CEO) employment project, even if you did not receive any funds.  Receiving FUNDS is not the only service these projects offer and is not considered the only rational for a persons involvement in an employment project. 
  • FAST for Employment does not fund tuition: Changes to the types of training and skill development focuses that we are now pursuing prevents us from funding traditional post-secondary education.  While ILRC Thunder Bay wholeheartedly believes in the ambition and aspirations of all persons with disabilities pursuing formal education, it does not directly fit our mandate of providing employment services through our FAST for Employment Project. While we understand that the options may seem limiting to those seeking funding for traditional post-secondary education, we believe suitable, equitable options exist.
  • Your ability to demonstrate a clear desire to become employed and follow-through on commitment to that goal.  FAST for Employment seeks those persons with disabilities that are ready and serious about employment. We will discuss this in detail during a participant's intake and assessment interviews.

FAST for Employment May...

  • Provide supports to help you become employed including assistance with resumes, cover letters and interview skills
  • Provide supports that connect you to suitable short term training and skill enhancements that help you become employable
  • Provide supports that connect you to suitable employers with possible wage subsidies that off-set training costs to employers
  • Provide supports that assist some participants to pursue suitable, logical and feasible self-employment options that best fit them

FAST For Employment Does Not...

  • Find or give YOU a job.  We do not have a list of jobs waiting to be filled by everyone applying to the FAST For Employment Project. This project, and ILRC Thunder Bay, works with people with disabilities in a partnership to identify the best path for YOU to take, and to then provide only the required supports to assist YOU in meeting YOUR success.  YOU should be ready to take all the initiative required to become employed or to pursue training that leads to employment.
  • Work indirectly with YOU.   Ideally, ILRC and all its programs, are designed to work directly with persons with disabilities.  We are an organization that is comprised of people with disabilities working with and for people with disabilities. To that end, it is not to say that we do not understand that many program applicants have a support system and/or family who is also partnering in their employment goals, but ILRC Thunder Bay insists on having regular and direct contact with actual program participants exclusively. Participants should expect and be willing to attend some and/or all appointments independently. 

FAST For Employment has four areas of focus:

  • Skills for Employment
  • Employment for Participants
  • Employment for Employers
  • Self-Employment

Employment for Program Participants and Employers

FAST For Employment offers more than just a wage subsidy! Eligible participants work through pre-employment skill development (such as resume, cover letter, and interview skills) that is modified to fit them individually and address their specific employment goals. FAST For Employment can also assist with work expenses such as safety boots, criminal reference checks, First Aid, TB Skin Tests, and more. Our goal is to match WORK-READY participants with long-term, sustainable employment, on the job training or opportunities for advancement in their current field. Employers may directly benefit by having the costs of training off-set by the wage subsidy and ongoing supports to ensure mutual success!

If you are looking to hire, we may be able to help.  We have a large pool of qualified candidates eager to join the workforce and demonstrate their ability.  We are interested in more than just placing people.  We offer education and training on disability and accommodation to assist you in making the right choice when it comes to hiring.  Whether you are looking to fill a full-time, part-time or casual position, the benefits of working with the ILRC are endless.
Training/hiring incentives may be available for employers/participants that qualify.

Skills and Training for Employment

FAST For Employment offers short-term skills and training funding to eligible participants that enable them to obtain the specific skills required to attain their employment goals. Some short-term training may include: Heavy Equipment, forklift, and special licenses -- which all include a matching on the job experience placement to ensure mutual employment success!
Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify.

Supports that may be available to you through this program:

  • pre-employment services such as: resume, cover letter, interview skills
  • job search technique
  • job application assistance
  • special clothing et. uniform, work books, hard hat, etc.
  • other specific items you may need for work eg. accommodation equipment, assistive devices
  • specialized training eg. First Aid / CPR, WHMIS, Smart Serve, etc.
** Please note: this program does not fund items such as computers, laptops, vehicles, vehicle repairs, rent, bill payments, any travel costs for training, etc.**

Contact Us Today!

Jennie Gibbons
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Emily Bailey
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