Skip to main content


Printer-friendly version

Below is a summary of all recent news postings here at CASS.

To view the full content of any given news posting (including attachments) click on the news post title

Post date: 2011/01/27 - 13:50

The CASS website will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday January 30th 2011 from noon to 2pm MST during which time it will be unavailable.

The CASS servers at the main office and the CAES office will be undergoing maintenance on Sunday January 30th 2011 from 2pm to 4pm MST during which time their availability will be intermittent at best, I'd recommend that you do not try to access CASS network resources during this window though you may have some limited success if you need to.

Neither email nor webmail service will be disrupted.

Sorry for any inconvenience,


Post date: 2011/01/24 - 15:11

Don't miss Kathryn Henry's "Talking Stick" Christmas story in this month's issue!

Post date: 2011/01/21 - 12:14



Monday, March 14 - 9 - 1 pm


Monday, May 16 - 9 - 1 pm

Participants are asked to bring their own snacks, as there will be no lunch break.

Co-ordinators: just so everyone is aware, if you have staff who has never taken a course through CASS before or has let their certification lapse, then they must pay a $60.00 fee for the course. Cheques are fine - payable to CASS. If their first aid certification has not expired then they can participate in a CASS class for free.

Questions concerning the course or your certification must be directed to the co-ordinator.

Please call reception to reserve your spot!


Post date: 2010/12/29 - 13:09




st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";

Thank you to Mr. Kevin Haughton and the Renfrew Insurance team in Calgary. Renfrew Insurance provides CASS employees with their insurance benefits needs. Renfrew contributed a donation of $500.00 to our CASS Client Christmas Hampers Initiative.

 Including Renfrew Insurance’s donation of $500.00, the staff of Calgary Alternative Support Services raised $4000.00 which went to support 45 CASS clients to have a merrier Christmas this year.

 Thank you and congratulations to all the staff who raised funds; thank you also to the Hamper Committee who did an amazing job shopping and preparing the hampers.


Post date: 2010/12/23 - 14:20

Our first newsletter of 2011 is a long one - be sure and read the CAES report on the 2010 outcomes and don't miss Yvonne's account of her trip to Bolivia!


Post date: 2010/12/22 - 12:50

Hi, all

Zalika from Momentum will be facilitating the Money Matters Financial Training workshops starting Friday, January 14th from 10:00 until noon.  These workshops will take place every Friday am in the CASS boardroom through to February 25th.  Should any of the clients be interested in attending these workshops, they are more than welcome.  Please call me at extension 234 to register them.


Post date: 2010/12/16 - 11:06

Yvonne shares her experiences from Bolivia. . .

Post date: 2010/11/29 - 10:02

Check out the cookie recipe and have some seasonal fun!!


Post date: 2010/11/25 - 11:31

Basic Cooking Class

January 12 - April 6, 2011
This class will address the importance of basic cooking skills. We will be learning about proper food handling, storage and labelling. We also work towards understanding what it means to have a healthy balanced diet, and how to make healthy choices on a budget.
AND most importantly we will learn how to cook!!!
It is important for everyone to know that having independence in the kitchen is a responsibility, and to ensure that we have the knowledge, skills and tools to make sure it is a great experience each and every time.

The Basic Cooking class is now taking registrations for the fourth session starting January 12, 2011. In the past this course has filled to capacity quickly so if you are interested please contact Crystal at 283-0611 ext  304

Post date: 2010/11/22 - 17:33

CAES Report on Employment Services and Outcomes In Calgary for 2010

Calgary Alternative Employment Services has been helping people with disabilities to prepare for, find and maintain employment since 1998. The CAES program philosophy of helping people to discover their talents and dreams – then applying this information to ‘customized’ job placement has proven very effective. Over the past 12 years, CAES has steadily expanded our program while improving our ability to meet the employment needs of the people we serve. CAES has maintained job placement rates at or above 75%. At times, our placement rates have been as high as 90%. Over the past two years, however, CAES has struggled to do as well at finding and preserving employment on behalf of our clients.

Although CAES has seen a lot of staff turnover in the last 12 months, this fact has had little impact on our quality of service. An independent assessment of CAES conducted by the University Of Calgary’s Disability and Community Studies Program revealed a very high level of client and employer satisfaction with CAES. This study was completed between January and April 2010. CAES would note, however, that turnover and changes among our Job Marketing staff has likely resulted in some delays in job search and placement as a result of new staff getting to know their job description and clients.

Over the past 12 to 24 months, the biggest issue affecting the speed of Job Placement is the job market itself. To illustrate the issues that CAES Job Marketers are dealing with on behalf of clients, CAES has compiled some facts about the national and provincial job markets from a couple of reliable sources including Alberta Employment and Immigration, Statistics Canada as well as the Globe and Mail.
•    Between October, 2008, and July, 2009, the Canadian labour market lost a stunning 503,000 full-time jobs and a total of 588,000 permanent jobs. That’s worse than any rate of job loss in a nine-month period since before the Second World War.
•    Compared to October, 2008, Canadians are still short 224,000 permanent jobs and 162,000 full-time jobs.
•    Canada’s job recovery has been fuelled by self-employment, temporary work (contract, seasonal and casual work), and part-time positions -- three categories which, together, are called ‘precarious employment’ by labour economists.
•    As of September 2010 almost four in 10 Canadian jobs (37.6 per cent) were precarious. These jobs are here today, gone tomorrow. They provide unpredictable income streams even when you are working – hardly the foundation for a sturdy recovery.

•    Although employment has returned to its pre-recession level of October 2008, the unemployment rate remains around 8%, well above its pre-recession level of 6.2%. Over this two-year period, the working-age population (15 years and over) grew by 2.9%, and the labour force — those working or looking for work — rose by 1.9%.  
•    Employment fell steeply during the downturn for youths (15 to 24) and men aged 25 to 54. In October 2010, employment among youths remained 7.8% below its October 2008 level.
•    During the downturn, full-time employment saw large declines, while part-time increased. Although overall employment has returned to its pre-recession level, full-time employment remains 102,000 or 0.7% below its peak, while there are 110,000 (+3.5%) more workers employed part time.
•    Total hours worked in the labour market fell steeply during the downturn (-3.7%) and have since picked up, increasing by 2.9%. However, unlike total employment, the number of hours worked in October 2010 remained 0.9% below the October 2008 level.

What all of these comments and statistics point to is pretty clear; even though employment is on the rise, it is often part time or unpredictable with regard to job security. There are, therefore, a lot of people looking to improve their employment situation even if they are currently working. That means that CAES Job Marketers have much more competition than they used to and employers have a lot more people to choose from. The job market took a very nasty hit over the past couple of years and recovery is slower than expected. The new job market isn’t offering the same quality of employment and certain groups (youth in particular) are still seeing much lower levels of employment than two years ago.

The economy hasn’t just affected the job market unfortunately; it has also affected government spending. There has been a tangible divestment on the part of provincial governmental departments in the area of employment support for people with barriers; the current policy would appear to be ‘let’s focus on the likely to succeed in order to keep costs down.’ The fiscal issue behind the divestment is that many more people are accessing the same pot of money employment services come from via Financial Assistance. In Alberta over the past two years there has been about a 40% increase in the number of people accessing these financial supports – this has created spending and budgetary issues for AE&I.  As illustrated in the following article from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, spending cuts to programs simply worsens the overall economic scenario and slows our recovery.

OTTAWA— Given the fragile economic recovery and the weak job market, now is not the time for a sharp turn to spending cuts, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
“It would be a huge mistake to significantly tighten the fiscal screws,” says the study’s author, economist Andrew Jackson. “While debt has risen due to the Great Recession, there will be a major human and economic cost if deficits are eliminated before a real recovery has been achieved.”
The study points out that debt in Canada—even after two years of stimulus—is still at very low levels compared to other countries, and compared to the mid-1990s. It warns against repeating the major spending cuts of the 1990s, which shredded social programs and public services.
“Cuts will shrink rather than raise our economic potential. We need to maintain high rates of public and private investment to boost our future rate of growth,” Jackson says.

What Is CAES Doing In Response?
Although it might take a bit longer, CAES continues to find jobs for clients (14 new placements since September 01, 2010.) CAES has hired an additional Job Marketer in 2010 and now has a team of three individuals devoted solely to finding job placements for clients. CAES Job Marketers have engaged in unprecedented levels of networking and program marketing in order to ‘win over’ the business community – even going so far as to engage with new employers who are just completing construction and haven’t even opened their doors yet. CAES is developing relationships, expanding job search resources and ensuring that we are ‘first in line’ when businesses are ready to start hiring.  We are asking clients and their supports to be patient and understand the nature of the job market we are operating in. These are difficult times but we are confident that we can still get the job done.

If you would like more information – or an opportunity to engage in further discussion about Calgary’s job market and the CAES Program, please e-mail the program manager at by December 15th. Thank you.