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ACDS Workforce Council

A Human Resource Strategy
For the Community Disability Services Sector

A History: Workforce 2010

In 2004 the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) in partnership with Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) and other government stakeholders led a series of integrated initiatives known as Workforce 2010 designed to examine human resource issues facing the Community Disability Services sector in Alberta. This initiative provided foundational information on the labour market issues and a profile of the current and future service requirement that identified this as a long term approach. A number of tools and resources were developed including the Workforce Classification System and the Employer of Choice assessment tool. This work was an essential building block for the Human Resource Strategy and concurrently informed ACDS Foundations Training and Creating Excellence Together (CET) standards. The ACDS Provincial and six Regional Workforce Councils have recognized efficiencies in human resource management, skill development and training and recruitment and retention.

Collaborative Partnerships

The Community Disability Services sector is mobilized to address the human resource issues, under the leadership of ACDS. The engagement of strategic partners, including Alberta Seniors (Persons with Developmental Disabilities), Alberta Human Services, Service Canada (HRDC), post-secondary institutions and approximately 129 community agencies, is critical in building future human resource capacity to ensure sustainability.

ACDS Provincial and Regional Workforce Councils, as well as individual agencies are engaged in a collaborative partnership towards a common vision of "a well-trained and stable workforce recognized as professionals providing valued services". To realize this vision, ACDS and the councils have undertaken a number of initiatives. Highlighted below are some of the achievements and strategies to attract and retain a qualified workforce and to support persons with disabilities and their families to receive sustainable quality support in the community.

Strengthening Human Resource Management

Workforce Classification (WCS) - Benchmark job profiles outline career paths for the sector, allowing for consistent language and understanding of the work.

  • Documented sixty agencies using the classification system
  • Refreshed Classification system to keep it relevant to meet the sector needs, revised training and resource materials
  • Delivered three regional sessions- thirty agencies in attendance
Current Strategies
  • Support the agencies needing instruction on the use of the tool. Track and document process
Expected Results
  • 75% of the Community Disability Services agencies will have completed the job evaluation using the workforce classification system by March 31, 2013.
  • Consistent expectations of the work and language which will aid in attracting and retaining qualified workers across the province.

Cultural Competency

Edmonton region project funded by Alberta Human Service to build organization capacity to support a diverse workforce.

  • Phase one pilot project completed - cultural competency toolkit and resources created
  • Three workshop days with three pilot agencies. Final Report developed and distributed to all regional workforce councils
  • Secured funding for phase two to engage twenty agencies in the Edmonton region to participate in the project
Current Strategies
  • Phase two of the pilot project to engage twenty agencies in the Edmonton region. This is a partnership project with Alberta Human Services and Edmonton Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op
  • In collaboration with Edmonton, Calgary Workforce Council is looking to roll out phase 2 in the region (using the tool kit and learning from Edmonton's project)
  • Sharing of phase 1 learning with Provincial and other regional workforce councils
Expected Results
  • Sharing outcome of phase two project with provincial and regional workforce councils
  • Project of similar size and scope in Calgary

Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection

HR Pro-Tracker Tool – collects critical information necessary to quantifiably measure, assess and address the nature of human resource needs in the Community Disability Services sector.

  • An interim report representing twenty eight agencies or 3500 staff was distributed in 2011 building momentum and understanding of the value of this tool and information.
Current Strategies
  • Build momentum for the tool by supporting agencies to install the tool and upload required data
  • Partner with Vecova to analysis and interpret the data
Expected Results
  • 75% of agencies using the Workforce Classification will be using the HR Pro-Tracker by 2013
  • Workforce trends and evidence-based data will be generated annually and used to inform workforce strategies and support decision making

Education and Training Partnerships

Foundations – core foundational training augments non-sector specific education to strengthen skills and abilities of works

  • Foundations' offered across the province with "E-learning" delivery method and a standardized curriculum. Developed through Calgary/Edmonton Workforce initiatives
  • Shared HR recruitment and training - five satellite agencies using online training
Current Strategies
  • Curriculum refreshed to keep up with trends and changes in the sector requirements
  • Continue to market benefits of the program and raise training expectations across the province
Expected Results
  • 30% Increase in Foundations participations (online or through other modalities)

Attracting a Professional Workforce

Community Disability Services Portal Website – Online networks created to more effectively share information and resources across the province. Comprised of seven individual regional websites with localized resources and job boards.

  • Two regional websites developed and piloted in Calgary and Edmonton
  • Four other regional websites now developed, included a revamp of original pilot sites and provincial site
  • Service Canada funding secured
  • Documented traffic from websites to Service Provider sites
Current Strategies
  • Six regions using the job boards to market positions within the sector resulting in immediate access to employment opportunities by potential job seekers
  • Track web traffic that identifies trends
  • Expected Results
  • 450 hits per month; a 200% increase in web traffic
  • 125 employers with access to post jobs for free

Visibility and Awareness Committee (VAC) – Workers in the disability sector present at secondary schools and youth organizations, sharing their stories and highlighting the importance and benefits of working in the Community Disability Services sector.

  • Funding secured from Service Canada for six month pilot project - Project completed with thirteen presentations to youth organizations in the Calgary region and three career fairs attended
  • Funding secured from Service Canada for a year-long project
  • Twelve agencies contributed in-kind staff time for advisory committee and presentations
Current Strategies
  • Target presentations to increase enrolment in post-secondary sector related courses
  • Increase awareness of potential careers in the sector
  • Expand reach to Central region
Expected Results
  • 30 youth serving organizations in and around Calgary will be contacted for presentation and materials
  • 25 presentations by the Visibility and Awareness Committee will take place within youth serving organizations
  • Two thousand brochures highlighting careers in disability services will be distributed through school presentations and career fairs
  • Two outreach trips to Hanna and Drumheller respectively. Presentations will take place during each trip
  • A final report shared on results

ACDS and the Provincial and Regional Workforce Councils have taken a leadership role in developing strategic long term human resource strategies and actions. This is a long term initiative that requires commitment of resources and focused attention.

ACDS Head Office

160 3015-12 Street NE
Calgary, AB  T2E 7J2
Ph: (403) 250-9495
Fax: (403) 291-9864

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