Kopar Administration is working to provide disabled residents with more career opportunities with its new construction training program.

Applications to the free new 4-week long skills training program focusing on carpentry and construction skills are now available for disabled residents.

Ken Newell, Operations Manager at Kopar Administration says participants will be working on a couple of different projects.

“We’re going to be assisting individuals with self-disclosed disabilities, assist them with some carpentry skills, what they’ll be doing is they’ll be building things like planter boxes, birdhouses, bat houses, Adirondak chairs, little odds and ends to help them gain skills,” he explained.

Individuals in the program will be given instruction on the safe operation of all the equipment and tools.

Newell says this program will also offer employers a chance to hire residents that they might not have considered previously.

“The construction industry is booming, particularly here in the North right now and I know that there’s a number of organizations that are looking for individuals and it could be a good untapped market they may not have thought of previously or the individuals might not have had any exposure to it,” Newell explained.

Participants in the program will also receive their own PPE (hard hat, hi-vis vest, steel-toed boots, etc) and some necessary personal tools that they will get to take with them after the end of the program.

According to Newell, sessions will have limited seats available to accommodate each individual, maintain a safe space following health restrictions, and ensure each individual is provided with a large amount of hands-on experience with each piece of equipment.

“At the end of the 4 weeks, we will work with each individual to assist them in securing employment. Employers who hire our participants may be eligible for a wage subsidy for up to 8 weeks. This wage subsidy will cover $15.20/hr to employers, any wages above $15.20/hr are the responsibility of the employer along with Mandatory employer related costs,” added Newell.

The program will run daily from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm, and the exact hours worked will be dependent upon each individual’s need and capacity.

It is funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities.