by Gloria Welton
MentorAbility is now available on the Island, and you will want to check it out.
The service is a national program coordinated by the Canadian Association of Supported Employment, which has locations in each province through a partner hub.
The partner hub for PEI is ResourceAbilities. Mark Cameron manages this two-year pilot program.
The program focuses on short mentorships, from an hour to a day in length, to help people experiencing barriers explore their career interests. It is a chance to learn more about what is involved in a job you may like to do but need more information and answers to your questions. You can also have more than one mentorship experience.
Meet the staff of MentorAbility PEI
Amy Doyle, Coordinator for Prince County and Queens County, was born in Stratford and now calls Kensington her PEI home.
“Since graduating high school in 2010, I have had an exciting and unique career path, while also dealing with challenges managing my mental health,” says Amy. “Accessing community supports and learning how to live well with my condition has helped me bounce back to doing the work I love to do.”
She is excited to be a part of the program, which helps people experiencing a disability to overcome barriers to employment and see the possibilities that are out there for them, in a career they are passionate about.
“A career is not just the job you have, but the way you live your best life and connect with your community. I want all Islanders to have equitable access to career opportunities that inspire them. I invite you to contact me as a job seeker or an employer interested in becoming a Mentee/Mentor.”
To speak with Amy about participating in a mentorship opportunity, email MentorWest@ResourceAbilities.ca
The office location is at 201 Wyatt Crescent, Summerside.
Ellie Beck is the new Coordinator for the Kings and Queens County MentorAbility location. “I am proud to have been born and raised in Kings County and I am excited to be serving this amazing community,” says Ellie. “I have previous experience serving the public as a Resident Care Worker at Gillis Lodge, Riverview Manor, and Inclusions East.
“Kindness and teamwork are at the heart of what I do, and I am passionate about helping others. I invite you to contact me as a job seeker or an employer interested in becoming a Mentee/Mentor.”
Ellie can be reached at 902-838-4743 or MentorEast@ResourceAbilities.ca
Her office is located at 25 Queens Road, Montague.
About the MentorAbility program
The program is based on the belief that everyone deserves a chance to thrive in the workforce, regardless of any barriers they may face.
“If you or someone you know is looking for opportunities, guidance, and a supportive community, reach out to us and let’s make a positive impact together,” says Amy. “Let’s break down barriers and create a more inclusive workforce.”
Mentees are referred to MentorAbility through partner agencies such as ResourceAbilities, Career Development Services, Tremploy, and others. A person can also contact Amy or Ellie directly to start the process.
They are reaching out to service providers across the Island to let them know about the program. “We can help offer support by matching mentors with clients who may be experiencing a barrier to employment and who have a dream job aspiration in mind and would like to explore the avenues further.
“Mentors could be employers in the community who want to provide a quality short-term mentorship opportunity. Mentorships can be in-person or virtual, and employers are not required to offer employment, but just to answer questions about the nature of their work.”
“Employers benefit from the program because they may gain access to a pool of potential candidates,” says Ellie. “In other provinces, people have been hired after meeting a mentor.
“Mentees benefit from the program as they learn more about a career that interests them, and make valuable connections with industry professionals who are supportive of their career development journey and can see their potential and abilities in a workplace they want to be in,” says Ellie.
Who can use the services?
Potential mentees could be experiencing barriers such as limited work experience, addiction, mental health issues, injury, narrow view of options, and other difficulties holding them back from full participation in society, including employment.
“We help break down those barriers and help people realize their options for employment,” says Ellie.
“For instance, trauma and family violence can disable people from participating in the workforce and may paralyze people from considering their options,” says Amy.
“We support all groups of people, including the Indigenous community, women, and gender diverse groups,” says Amy. “We are very flexible and open to working with people whose barriers to employment are blocking their view of what could possibly be next for them.”
After the mentor/mentee experience, there will be a follow-up which takes a look at the outcomes of the match.
“If other mentor experiences are needed to help people make their decisions, we can help with that as well,” says Ellie.
“We do all the groundwork to connect with the mentor and will be promoting this program to people and employers who would like to take part in the program.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
the national MentorAbility program, visit www.supportedemployment.ca/initiatives/mentorability/
For more about the MentorAbility-PEI program, visit www.facebook.com/mentorabilitypei