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EmploymentWorks Canada (EWC) is a federally funded program offering employment preparedness training and job sampling work experience for individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The 12-week program serves young adults with autism who are out of high school, ranging in age from 15-29 years old. It enrolls 8 participants, who attend sessions for 2.5 hours, twice per week.

The first of the weekly sessions is a Structured Learning session, where participants engage in motivating learning activities regarding important social-communication and employment-related skills. Topics include resumes and cover letters, small talk, greetings, clothing and hygiene, networking, touchy subjects, expected behaviours on the job, disclosure and accommodations, giving and receiving feedback, perspective taking, coping with stress, and more. Additionally, participants practice searching for jobs each week, and are supported to build independence in completing job applications and attending interviews.

The second of the weekly sessions is a Worksite session where participants get the chance to apply learned skills in a real work environment through job shadowing. Participants sample jobs at a minimum of 4 different employers throughout the community, gaining work experience in a variety of job sectors while exploring their career interests, building their resume and gaining transferrable skills. EWC aims to increase community engagement by expanding workplace hiring and accommodation practices and empowering individuals to build skills, reach employment goals and develop confidence.

EWC is an evidence-informed program, utilizing teaching techniques proven effective by scientific literature. The program targets individualized goals for each participant addressing social-communication and employment-related skills. Goals are determined based on observation, evaluation tools, as well as client input. Data is taken throughout the program and evaluation tools are used to assess program effectiveness and participant goal progression. Upon program completion, participants receive a detailed report highlighting their amazing progress.

If you’d like to participate in EmploymentWorks Canada, please contact Jamie-Lynn Black, Clinical Supervisor, at 902.593.1015 or email for more information.

EmploymentWorks Canada is one of the three streams of the Worktopia national project. For more information, visit

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program.