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May 29, 2019 3:36 PM

CICE event fosters community connections

On May 22, Conestoga’s Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program hosted an information event at the Doon campus to support students and graduates of the program with their transition to the community.

Conestoga College_Transition Information Event_2019.jpg
Conestoga’s CICE program hosted an information event on May 22 to support students and graduates with their transition to the community.

Designed to provide individuals with exceptionalities and other significant learning challenges an opportunity to experience college life and enhance their academic and vocational skills, the two-year CICE program supports students to be more independent members of the community with the goal of transitioning to volunteer or paid employment.

“The transition information event allows students and graduates of the CICE program to connect with meaningful community partners and services to support their achievements and goals,” said Shannon Lipskie, manager of apprenticeship and special programs at Conestoga. “We are fortunate to have amazing connections and support from our community partners to help ensure that students, graduates and their families know support and opportunities continue after the program.”

Local organizations invited to participate covered a variety of services, which included training and employment, recreation and leisure, housing, transportation, and counselling. Representatives from Conestoga’s Alumni Office and Continuing Education were also on hand to discuss the support and opportunities available through the college after graduation.

Among the community partners in attendance was KW Habilitation, who provided information about the organization’s KW Career Compass program. “We want to encourage a diverse and inclusive workforce across the region,” said Stacey Mitchell, project supervisor at KW Habilitation. “Employment provides us all with the opportunity to earn money, learn new skills, build new relationships and feel a closer connection to our community.”

KW Career Compass supports job seekers with developmental disabilities to find meaningful employment by matching interests, skills and career goals. The program assists with job readiness, experiential learning opportunities, and job coaching, which includes on-the-job training and ongoing job retention and maintenance supports.

The event also welcomed notable alumni of the program who came to show their support, including Cooper Moore, an employee at Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort in Kitchener, and Allie Libertini, who was honoured with a 2018 Premier’s Award.  

“Our hope,” said Lipskie, “is that CICE graduates will make their mark on the community.”

Visit the CICE program page to learn more.

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