Canadian Association for Supported Employment

MentorAbility Canada Hub Highlight Series

Every month, MentorAbility Canada proudly presents one of our implementing partners. They are the MentorAbility coordinators—the backstage workers who quietly go about their tasks to ensure that job seekers, employers, and service providers can shine in the spotlight.

For the French version of this post, please click here.

Pour la version française de cet article, veuillez cliquer ici.

MentorAbility Manitoba:
Charting a New Course for Workplace Inclusion in Manitoba

Manitoba’s workplaces are undergoing a transformation, with inclusion becoming the standard. Employers increasingly appreciate the strength of a diverse workforce and recognize its benefits. 

“Including all individuals expands the talent pool. This allows organizations to build stronger, more resilient teams with a wider range of skill sets.”

Wade Slater, MentorAbility Coordinator, WASO

Studies suggest that inclusive workplaces enjoy increased productivity and innovation. Yet, there’s still an employment gap: Manitoba’s employment rate for working-age individuals with disabilities (64.3%) remains significantly lower than that for the general population (80.5%) (Statistics Canada).

MentorAbility Manitoba, led by WASO (Work And Social Opportunities), is tackling this challenge head on. The program unlocks potential for persons experiencing disability, paving the way to fulfilling careers informed through mentorship. But MentorAbility Manitoba isn’t just about supporting job seekers; it’s also about empowering employers to build more inclusive, productive, and successful workplaces.

Hub Highlight MentorAbilitly Manitoba. Lumière sur MentorHabiletés Manitoba. WASO. CASE - ACSE logo. Government of Canada wordmark.

A Gateway to Diverse Career Experiences—and to Diverse Workplaces

In today’s competitive landscape, employers are increasingly recognizing the value of a diverse workforce. MentorAbility Manitoba connects employers with skilled and motivated individuals who are interested in learning more about their workplace. Each mentorship experience is unique and all who participate in it benefit from the experience. 

MentorAbility mentorships provide opportunities for employers to expand the talent pool and to bring a wealth of unique perspectives and experiences to the table. With sectors such as agriculture, aerospace, and creative arts booming, the province offers many opportunities and diverse work environments. 

Through training, networking, and practical inclusion strategies, MentorAbility Manitoba helps employers to build stronger, more resilient teams, all while connecting them to an untapped pool of qualified, motivated, and creative talent. Strengthening their inclusive workplace culture can lead organizations to increased productivity and enhanced problem-solving, thus to a more competitive edge in the marketplace.

“MentorAbility is a great opportunity to explore the unexplored in employment.” 
Cam Postma, member of the MentorAbility Manitoba team

Mentorship provides a safe space for mentees to experiment, discover new areas of interest, and gain valuable knowledge about different industries. “It can give someone the opportunity to see an area of industry that they’ve never experienced and be able to gain knowledge and understanding of a particular field,” explains Cam. 

This exploration ignites a passion for learning and opens doors to new possibilities, paving the way for fulfilling careers.

The Power of Mentorship: Mark’s Success Story

“We found the perfect match.”

Mark, who was a newcomer to Canada, found fulfilling employment after having participated in a MentorAbility mentorship. His experience highlights the program’s impact on supporting employment, building self-esteem, and cultivating a sense of belonging for persons experiencing disability. 

Mark’s mentor, the owner of a local chocolate bakery, aptly remarked, “He is so proud of his work. We found the perfect match.”

This successful mentorship underscores the program’s ability to connect employers with individuals who possess untapped potential and a willingness to work and to contribute.

MentorAbility Manitoba is more than a program that connects mentors with mentees; it’s a journey of personal and professional growth and empowerment.

Watch this video to hear Mark's mentorship story.

Mentorship empowers mentees to explore their capabilities, overcome challenges, and discover hidden talents. It also offers an opportunity for the mentor to learn and to develop new community and business connections.

“Mentors can help mentees develop important skills, such as communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving.”
Chelsey Irwin, MentorAbility Co-Coordinator, WASO

Building a Network of Inclusion

MentorAbility goes beyond the traditional one-on-one mentorship model, creating a network of support that extends beyond the mentorship relationship. This collaborative approach strengthens the support system for mentees and for mentors and expands professional networks.

“MentorAbility brings together mentors and facilitators who often have a network of contacts,” said Chelsey Irwin, MentorAbility Co-Coordinator at WASO. When mentors with other service providers are connected, mentees can experience more open doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships that they may not have access to otherwise.” 

MentorAbility Manitoba is not just a program; it’s a movement towards a more inclusive and prosperous Manitoba. We invite you to join us in making a difference.

To learn more about or to contact MentorAbility Manitoba, contact: 

Wade Slater   |   Email: [email protected]   |   Telephone: 204-226-2844   |

Read more about becoming a MentorAbility Mentor or a Community Partner.

Together, we can build a workforce where everyone can thrive.