District 7040 of Rotary International is made up of active Rotary clubs in Nunavut, Eastern Ontario, Western Québec and Northern New York State. Operating in two countries and in two languages, managing hundreds of community service programs in their own communities and around the world, these Rotarians strive to bring about the Rotary ideal of “Service above Self.”
LiveWorkPlay is a corporate member of the Rotary Club of West Ottawa, which is one of the 69 clubs that currently make up District 7040. Starting back in 2011, LiveWorkPlay Manager of Employment Supports Jen Bosworth started working closely with Ottawa area Rotarians to help bring the Rotary at Work initiative to this community. This included co-hosting the Building A New Workforce event, with presentations from provincial Rotary at Work representatives, sponsorship by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and special guest Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley.
Following this event Vaughn McKinney from Rotary Club of South Ottawa and Ken Sparks from RCWO were keen to keep things moving, so they joined up with Jen to tour Ottawa area clubs as well as outlying regions to talk about the importance and benefits of employing people with disabilities. The message was very well received, and also resulted in job creation. Indeed, Vaughn himself has become an employer champion featured by United Way Ottawa along with employee (and LiveWorkPlay member) Jeremy Robin! It is a very small world, as LiveWorkPlay Co-Leader Keenan Wellar had the privilege of celebrating Vaughn and Jeremy with an audience of more than 1000!
With all this momentum and the positive response to the club presentation, Ken led the charge to have Rotary at Work established as a District 7040 initiative. This is no small feat, as it requires support from the 69 clubs in both countries! This has all been proudly announced with a full page in the current District 7040 newsletter. The article says in part:
On December 1, 2012, District 7040 proudly joined District 6290/6400/7070 in adopting a Vocational Initiative that is energizing Rotarians across the province: Rotary at Work! This business-to-business educational program takes a fresh look at people who have disabilities and how they make a positive contribution to the workforce.
Jen and her LiveWorkPlay employment supports teammate Ali Sochasky will continue working with Rotarians near and far to promote the employment of people with disabilities. Maybe you’d like to find out how to employ a person with an intellectual disability in your workplace! Contact Jen or Ali right now!