News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 3, 2023

Manitoba Government Provides $1.7 Million to Help Manitobans Enter the Labour Market

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Journey to Independence Funding will Help Community-Based Organizations Deliver Programming to Reduce Barriers to Employment: Squires

The Manitoba government is providing nine community-based organizations with up to $1.7 million from the Journey to Independence Fund to deliver programming that will support Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) participants to pursue meaningful employment, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Our government is pleased to invest in programming and services that offer Manitobans a range of options to meet their unique needs along their journeys to greater financial independence,” said Squires. “This is an investment in Manitobans and their capacity to achieve their employment goals with the right supports in place.”

The Journey to Independence Fund was established in 2021 and designed to provide funding to community-based organizations across Manitoba with experience supporting individuals to enter the labour market.

In the fall of 2022, the Manitoba government launched an expression of interest, inviting community organizations with the experience and capacity to deliver a range of unique employment programs to submit proposals that would reduce barriers to employment and support Manitobans to become empowered through greater financial independence.

To ensure a fair and transparent evaluation of applications, a selection committee with representation from community partners was established, the minister noted, adding that the committee selected nine proposals based on the organization’s ability to fill gaps in available programming and to better connect clients to appropriate programming that supports their unique journeys towards greater independence and financial stability.

The nine organizations receiving funding include:

  • Abilities Manitoba;
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Manitoba and Winnipeg Inc.;
  • Daniel McIntyre St. Matthews Community Association;
  • Manitoba Possible;
  • Opportunities for Employment;
  • Sara Riel;
  • Taking Charge!;
  • West Central Women’s Resource Centre; and
  • Youth Employment Services Manitoba Inc.

Additional organizations may also be funded in the future to deliver supportive programs as part of the Journey to Independence Fund, the minister added.

“With this funding we have expanded our Employment with Supports program to include a youth component. Over the next year, we will provide supported employment services including employment and mental health workshops, job search assistance, wellness planning with a job retention focus, and access to cultural activities,” said Orianne Donig-Harder, program manager, Canadian Mental Health Association. “Early intervention is key to both mental wellness and employability, enabling youth to develop skills that will serve them through their lifespan.”

Programming supports offered by the funded organizations will include:

  • pre-employment and wraparound supports;
  • financial management training;
  • soft skills for the workplace;
  • mentorship; and
  • cultural programming.

"The funding from the Manitoba government will allow the program to work one on one with individuals on EIA to address barriers to employment, while providing them with employment support, including resume writing, job search support, and interview preparation to help them secure employment, " said Lorie English, executive director, West Central Women’s Resource Centre.

All nine programs are expected to launch in 2023-24 and will operate for one year.

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