An integral part of Bissell’s multi-service agency has been the operation of a successful and comprehensive Employment Services program for the past 30 years for Albertans experiencing multiple and often complex barriers to full inclusion.  As our organization has continually adapted to meet the needs of the community, we have recognized a gap in employment support services in the Edmonton area that we anticipate will be lessened through the implementation of our Workforce Development program.

The Workforce Development program supports community members in the Edmonton area and northern Alberta experiencing multiple barriers to finding and maintaining gainful employment. It accomplishes this through the deployment of extensive multidisciplinary wrap-around supports as participants progress through a multiphase training program.

Extensive Supports

Alongside the case manager roles held by Employment Support Workers, these extensive supports include the addition of specialized support roles; Employment Support Worker Housing Navigator, Cultural Support Worker, Recovery Coach, Disability Employment Advocate, Job Placement Specialist and Occupational Therapist. Through comprehensive supports and an in-depth curriculum of Employment Development, Work Exposure and Work Maintenance this project will lead to increased sustainability in employment and labour market attachment for Albertans facing barriers.

Client Journey

The Workforce Development program is comprised of 3 separate intake processes (universal intake, interview, and orientation) and 3 distinct program phases (skill development, work exposure, and work maintenance). Once participants successfully complete the 3 intake processes before being officially accepted into the program and are required to successfully complete the 3 service categories before graduating through the program.

Workforce Development Journey Map

They will complete the skill development phase of the program over a 14-week period. Once completed, Clients will progress to the Work Experience and Work Maintenance phases of the program as they are completed concurrently over a 12-week period. Upon their completion of the program, Clients will continue to have access to support staff and resources as they seek out long-term employment.


The Workforce Development Program has three primary objectives that it is designed to achieve:

  • To support Albertans to participate in their communities through employment
  • Helping Albertans reach their individual potential
  • Ensuring Albertans are stable and safe


  • Ensuring Albertans have timely and consistent access to support to meet their basic needs
  • Fostering resiliency in Albertans facing multiple barriers in their lives
  • Supporting Albertans with disabilities to participate in the community and find employment opportunities
  • Supporting First Nations and other indigenous peoples with disabilities to find employment and opportunities to participate in the community

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