The Green Bay Community Employment Corporation is a non-profit, provincially funded organization.The aim of The Corporation is providing employment related services for persons with developmental disabilities, like Autism and Downs Syndrome.Kem Wells, Manager and Employment Coordinator of the Green Bay Community Employment Corporation, believes those with intellectual disabilities "have the right to be a citizen of their community and society, to hold a job."
GBCEC services Green Bay and Green Bay South. Currently, GBCEC has 21 clients dispersed among part-time, full-time and seasonal employment.
Clients have to come to The Corporation or have to be referred. Kem works with the individual one-on-one to learn the interests and skills of the client, providing a case assessment that can help match each person with suitable job positions and employers. Kem says they are "maintaining a number of positions - about 20 to 25 per year - but there are still many individuals out there that aren't working."
A current client of GBCEC is Breene Saunders.
Breene, a 17-year old student of Indian River High, works at various business locations in Springdale being exposed to different types of work and a number of options. Most commonly, Breene can be found at the local Foodland store.
Foodland Manager Kerry Butt says Breene is responsible for facing products, cleaning shelves and helping customers.
In regards to the work that GBCEC does and having Breene work at Foodland Mr. Butt said, "I think it's great. It's good for him, it's good for us. And, overall I think the community respects the part that we give someone [like Breene] the opportunity to be a part of everyday life."
Since Breene is still a student and part of Transitional Employment, he works with a job coach. Mandie Martin, who holds a diploma in Community Studies from the College of the North Atlantic, works alongside Breene on a daily basis as a Job Coach. "Watching him actually work and seeing how much he gets out of it makes me feel good to know I'm there to help when he needs me," she says.
When asked if he liked working at Foodland and meeting new people, Breene said, "I think it's awesome! I'm a responsible person, too."
Overall, Kem and the GBCEC advocate employment equality. "Today is 2010 and every position in a business should be an equal employment opportunity for everyone regardless of who you are, you should have the right for an interview," she said.