Take your MLA to Work Day


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Photo by Eoin Devereux

Left to right: Carreer Connections Inc. executive director Tracy Williams, Agassiz MLA Eileen Clarke, Mitchell Baryla and Salvation Army manager Amanda Naughton-Gale pose for a picture during the Take your MLA to Work Day tour.

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Disability Employment Awareness Month has come to a close with its annual ‘Bring Your MLA to Work Day’. The event featured members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) visiting a local workplace that has hired an individual who happens to have a disability. The employee then provides a tour of their place of work and discusses their duties in their position.

For this year’s day, Agassiz MLA Eileen Clarke toured the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Neepawa on Friday, Oct. 26 and met with employee Mitchell Baryla. While leading the tour for Clarke, Career Connections Inc. executive director Tracy Williams and the Banner & Press, Baryla explained his day-to-day responsibilities. During the visit, he noted that he has worked at the Salvation Army since June. Having studied and earned a diploma in Interactive Media Arts from Assiniboine Community College, Baryla added that while he continues to search for a position in his chosen field, being a part of the Salvation Army team has been a positive opportunity.

Neepawa and Area Salvation Army manager Amanda Naughton-Gale noted that Baryla’s contribution to the thrift store has been a very positive one.

“We are so glad to have him as a part of our team. Ever since he began with us earlier this year, he has risen to the occasion and gone beyond our expectations and been a real asset,” said Naughton-Gale. “And as well, we hope this experience has been a positive for him. If and when he finds a full-time job in the area that he wants, we’d be so happy for him, as well.”

Agassiz MLA Eileen Clarke noted to the Banner & Press that this is the first time she’s been able to participate in the day. She said it seems to be a tremendous opportunity for those involved.

The tour was organized by Career Connections Inc., an agency that helps secure employment for people with disabilities, together with the Manitoba Supported Employment Network which held similar events across the province. Career Connection executive director Tracy Williams said that they are very pleased with the expansion of the program over the past four years, with more businesses across the province seeing the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.