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Kootenay project makes biking more inclusive, provides jobs

Kootenay project makes biking more inclusive, provides jobs

January 28, 2020 at 1:48 pm  BC, News, Politics

People in the Kootenay region will gain work experience and build their resumes while helping the Kootenay Adaptive Sports Association (KASA) expand adaptive mountain biking in British Columbia.

Adaptive mountain biking encompasses a range of events and riders who typically cannot ride a standard mountain bike and require adapted equipment and/or trails to suit their physical, intellectual, neurological and sensory abilities.

“This project demonstrates how we can work with organizations to break down barriers for people with disabilities in B.C., while giving them valuable experience they can use to find a secure job,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re proud to support KASA’s work of expanding sporting options for all people.”

The Province provided $242,067 for KASA’s We-Bike, Try-It and Gravity Series 2020, which runs from January to December. Participants will build skills while co-ordinating pilot projects in classrooms and public events that encourage biking in Nakusp, Kamloops and Nanaimo. They will also explore opportunities for bringing adaptive biking to B.C. resorts.

The funding will provide six job seekers with experience in community engagement, event planning, marketing, bookkeeping, administration, bike mechanics and coaching. This will increase their opportunities for sustainable employment.

“Organizations like KASA have brought inclusion to the forefront and are building a culture where people with disabilities can more fully enjoy their community,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “I’m proud of the people in our region for making the Kootenays more welcoming and inclusive.”

The project will focus on hiring Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, youth and multi-barriered people. The local WorkBC Centre will refer eligible participants to the project.

“This project is another step in a positive direction for persons with disabilities living in and visiting British Columbia,” said Mike Riediger, executive director, KASA. “Expanding on a successful 2019 Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) project, we can further implement our rental programs, outdoor adventure camp, skills clinics, inclusion projects and advocacy. Having programs and access that we can research, test and share within the Kootenays, as well as the rest of the province, will help communities better understand how important inclusion is and how they can help make those changes happen. We are very excited to be starting this project and would like to thank the Province for their support.”

Funding for this project is provided through WorkBC’s CEP program. The program aims to increase employment opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through partnerships, research and innovative job-creation projects.

Quick Facts:

  • Government will invest approximately $15 million in CEP projects throughout B.C. in 2019-20.
  • CEP’s goal is to increase employment and work experience opportunities in communities throughout B.C.

Learn More:

Learn more about how WorkBC can help find British Columbians jobs that are right for them: www.workbc.ca/rightforyou

Kootenay Adaptive Sports Association: https://kootenayadaptive.com/

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