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Rural entrepreneurs - make sure you enter the Just Watch Me video contest. Find more info on our News page

Listen to the interview with Richard Pimentel about employment for persons with disabilities on AMI's Contact

Be sure to watch the Talent Untapped video about persons with disabilities

Hear the interviews about the 2014 Expo on AMI's Mosiac City

Be sure to check out the Just Watch Me video contest. Check our News page for details

Be sure to complete our survey about the 2014 Expo

Be sure to watch the video of Randy Lewis (speaker at the 2011 Expo) promoting his new book.

Find all news items on our News Page

2013 Expo Highlights

On this page you will find information that was specific to our Employment Expo from 2013. Click on the tabs below to review the information.

  • Program
  • Exhibitors
  • Partners
  • Schedule
  • Speakers
  • Sponsors

2013 Employment Expo Program

Embracing our theme of celebrating and advancing the participation of people with disabilities in Manitoba’s workforce, we were pleased to feature a full day of engaging activities and events on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

Best Practices Breakfast

The EXPO kicked off with a lively Best Practices Breakfast, featuring a full-course breakfast, lively networking opportunity, and captivating presentations. Everyone was welcome to attend, but this event was primarily intended to celebrate and encourage Manitoba employers.

Guest Speaker: Deborah Dagit,
President, Deb Dagit Diversity LLC

photo of Deb DagitIn this introduction to her VOICE program, Deb Dagit explained the compelling market opportunities that can be obtained by including PwD and their stakeholders as an emerging market.  Participants also learned through contemporary business cases what it means to “seize the limitations” of people with disabilities to drive innovation and business results; enlightened self awareness and what’s in it for me (WIFM) to create inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities; and how to be an effective ally in both actions and words.

Image of the Voice logoThe purpose of VOICE is to encourage colleagues of people with disabilities to identify themselves as allies in order to create more welcoming, inclusive and supportive business cultures.

Leveraging her experiences as a Chief Diversity Officer with a visible disability who has created inclusive environments for people with disabilities in three different companies, Deb instilled in participants a strong sense of desire, confidence and capability to become allies for people with disabilities and encourage colleagues to do the same. 

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall featured an exciting array of exhibit booths. Dozens of exhibitors showcased their products, services and job/career opportunities. Companies were there to share information on jobs and career paths in their workforces and industry. Government programs were there to explain how they support job seekers and/or employers to make successful employment outcomes. Community organizations were there to explain how they can assist employers in the hiring and retention of folks with disabilities. Advances in access technology were on display. There was an abundance of information and resources for job seekers, employers, and the community at large. We were very pleased to see six new Exhibitors for 2013!

And the survey says...

We are constantly striving to improve the Employment Expo year after year. We rely on feedback from our guests, exhibitors and speakers. Please take a look at the 2013 Employment Expo survey report.

As we confirm our Exhibitors for the 2013 Employment Expo, we will add them here (listed alphabetically). We thank all those Exhibitors who are returning for another year, and welcome those who join us for the first time.

Bison Transport

Bison Transport logo Logo for and link to the Bison Transport website Bison Transport is one of the largest truckload carriers in Canada, serving Canada and 48 states in the U.S. As a high-service, dependable and value creating supply chain partner, Bison Transport offers full service logistics, dedicated fleet operations, yard management and warehousing, and distribution. We have achieved Platinum status as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies. Bison Transport is a four time Grand Prize Winner of the highly coveted Truckload Carriers Association National Fleet Safety Award. As well, we have received numerous awards for our environmental and technological initiatives.

CNIB - Manitoba Division

CNIB logo logo and link to the CNIB website

At your local CNIB Career and Employment Services office you will find a range of programs to assist you in finding and maintaining employment. In addition to working with employers and the government to raise awareness of the need for more training, funding and prospects for blind and partially sighted people, we work directly with you to build your confidence, develop new skills and find opportunities in the job market.

Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development

logo for CAHRD logo for and link to the CAHRD website (CAHRD) Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. is a non-profit, human resource development organization that delivers Education, Training and Employment services to the urban Aboriginal population of Winnipeg. CAHRD offers comprehensive services to job-seekers that can lead directly to employment through job preparation (interview skills, resume workshops, job referrals), and assisting clients with accessing further education and training.

Cargill Limited

Cargill logo link to the Cargill website Cargill Limited a Manitoba Top Employer, employs over 10,000 people across Canada. An international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial & industrial products and services, headquartered in Winnipeg. Cargill is recognized in The Globe and Mail's Best Companies to Work for in Canada, nominated among Canada's top employers for 2013, and one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013. Our employees work in fields, labs, mills, kitchens, offices, production facilities, and on trading floors. Our goal is to employ great people with imagination who are committed to delivering the best ideas to the industries we serve. Cargill is a Silver Sponsor of Ability Axis.

City of Winnipeg

City of Winnipeg logo logo for and link to the City of Winnipeg HR page The City of Winnipeg values a dynamic and diverse workforce of highly skilled people working together to deliver excellent service to the citizens of Winnipeg. Like the people of our City, the people of our public service come from many backgrounds and we value this diversity. We believe it makes us a stronger, more effective public service. The City is a large employer with employees represented by eight different unions/associations, in thirteen departments delivering services in the following areas: leisure, recreation and wellness; police, fire and emergency medical services; infrastructure operation and renewal; sustainable planning and development; transportation and public transit; emergency preparedness; by-law administration; audit; corporate finance and other internal support services.

Community Futures Manitoba

logo for Community Futures Manitoba logo for and link to the Community Futures MB website The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program of Community Futures Manitoba helps people with disabilities or health conditions start their own businesses in rural Manitoba. We both look forward to meeting you at our booth on October 23rd!

Community Living - Manitoba

Community Living Manitoba logo logo for and link to the Community Living Manitoba website Community Living Manitoba is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee as an organization dedicated to the full inclusion in the community of persons of all ages who live with an intellectual disability. We believe that all members of the human family are full persons and cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions or genetic patterns; all persons are unique and ineffable; all persons are entitled to respect and dignity; all persons are entitled to equal access and opportunity to make decisions and choices, and, when necessary, to receive support to do so; & all person’s lives are enriched through relationships and friendships.

Connect Employment Services Inc

Connect Employment Services Inc is a not-for-profit employment service in Winnipeg, Manitoba that supports adults with intellectual disabilities. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to work and participate in the community, where they are respected and rewarded for their efforts, skills and accomplishments. Connect supports people who want to work in an integrated community setting - in a job of their choice, respective of their interests and abilities. We provide services to help people work - including assistance with job preparation, job search, transportation training and job training.

Disability Employment Awareness Month

DEAM logo logo for and link to the Disability Employment Awareness Month website Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) is an annual opportunity for Manitoba businesses, industry associations, community organizations, educational institutions, government bodies, and other groups to take proactive steps to increase employment success for Manitobans with disabilities. Please visit our website for a calendar of events, resources you can use within your business or organization and more. We are proud to be a part of the Ability Axis Employment Expo. Visit our Volunteers at the DEAM booth and learn how you can “be involved”!

Manitoba Customer Contact Association

Manitoba Customer Contact Association logo logo and link to the Manitoba Customer Contact Association

Manitoba Customer Contact Association is an industry association made up of business leaders in the contact centre industry primarily based in Manitoba. MCCA members are devoted to the development and sustainability of a growing healthy and dynamic industry. MCCA supports the industry by coordinating training and networking opportunities to ensure the necessary skills are developed to meet the needs of the future. MCCA group members are also committed to educating the public and creating career awareness while dispelling the myths often associated with contact centres, promoting the industry as one where many careers begin and develop into a successful future.

Manitoba Hydro

Manitoba Hydro logo logo for and link to the Manitoba Hydro website Manitoba Hydro is investing in a bright future for Manitobans and our environment. We are a leader among energy companies in North America, recognized for providing highly reliable services and exceptional customer satisfaction. Manitoba Hydro is committed to attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce that reflects the demographics of Manitoba. We are proud to be among one of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2013 as well as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2013. Join our team as we continue to build a company that supports innovation, commitment, and customer service.

Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries logo logo for and link to the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries website Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries will soon be the newest Crown corporation of the Province of Manitoba, responsible for the distribution and sale of beverage alcohol, and for providing gaming and entertainment experiences, all in a socially responsible manner. Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries operates Liquor Marts and Liquor Mart Express stores, Club Regent Casino, McPhillips Station Casino, Video Lotto and PlayNow.com, and also distributes and sells Western Canada Lottery products through our network of lottery ticket retailers. Revenues generated by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries are returned to the Province to support priority programming in health care, education, social and community services, economic development and public safety initiatives.

Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba Public Insurance logo logo for and link to the MPI website We believe diversity strengthens us. Our aim is a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. At Manitoba Public Insurance you'll get the training, tools and encouragement you need to succeed. We provide a respectful, inclusive work environment and clear and consistent direction. Our people have the support they need to do their jobs and the opportunity for career growth and advancement.

New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families

Image of New Directions logo logo and link to the New Directions website

New Directions is a large, non-profit organization which provides a unique combination of human services to individuals in Winnipeg. Our staff positions include: Clinicians/Therapist, Counselors, Classroom Instructors, Employment Facilitators, Residential Treatment Workers, Development Treatment Workers, IT, HR, Accounting and Administrative Assistants and more. We offer programming and a variety of resources for the Deaf community, individuals with intellectual disabilities and the Aboriginal community and we strive towards a workforce that has fair representation of person with disabilities, Aboriginal persons, visible minorities and women. Please visit our booth to learn more about us.

Opportunities for Employment

OFE logo At Opportunities for Employment, our mission statement is... To equip individuals to achieve greater independence by pursuing and maintaining meaningful employment. For more than a decade now, OFE has assisted over 10,000 individuals find and keep meaningful employment. Today we employ over 40 professionals who have a passion for helping our unemployed Winnipeg residents in their journey to self-sufficiency. We provide many services including job search programs, networking opportunities with employers, pre-employment workshops, motivational workshops, certificate programs and computer literacy programs (See booth for more services & supports). And most importantly... all of our services are at NO COST to you!

Partners for Workplace Inclusion

CCRW logo logo for and link to the Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program website The Partners for Workplace Inclusion Program (PWIP) is a one stop employment service for job seekers with disabilities which provides job seekers with disabilities with tools to prepare for a career or secure employment. PWIP provides the supporting the development of individual vocational plans and portfolios specific to the career needs of the participants, providing tuition to project participants as needed, accessing a wide range of employment programs and opportunities, enhancing participants' pre-employment skills development, reducing barriers in the workplace by engaging employers in a successful, recognized best practices model program and acting as a resource to assist stakeholder groups in creating an inclusive workplace.

Premier Personnel Corporation

Premier Personnel logo logo for and link to Premier Personnel's website Premier Personnel Corporation provides a broad range of supported employment services including resume writing, interview preparation, job development assistance, on site training when starting a job, and ongoing follow up supports.  We specialize in supports for individuals with intellectual or learning disabilities who are considered work ready but require some added support in order to succeed in the workplace.

Province of MB - Civil Service Commission

Province of Manitoba logo logo for and link to the Civil Service Commission website As an employer of more than 15,000 Manitobans, the provincial government’s civil service offers a wide variety of career opportunities and a staffing policy that emphasizes diversity and inclusion. We offer several programs designed to give people of every ability and background a variety of employment options, quality work experiences, and opportunities for career exploration.
Hiring a diverse workforce that is representative of the citizens of Manitoba makes our civil service stronger and helps showcase that regardless of ability or background, opportunities exist to make important and lasting contributions in the workplace.

Province of MB - Entrepreneurship, Training & Trade

Province of Manitoba logo logo for and link to the Province of Manitoba website The marketAbilities Program (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation) of Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade (ETT) offers a wide range of employment focused services to assist eligible adults with disabilities in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining employment. Case coordination and vocational counselling services are provided by Manitoba Family Services and Labour, Regional Health Authorities and the three designated agencies funded by ETT (Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Canadian Paraplegic Association). For eligible participants requiring little or no support in preparing a vocational plan, a Self-Directed Option is also available.

RBC Royal Bank

RBC logo Among the world’s largest banks based on market capitalization, RBC is one of North America’s leading financial services companies.  We support a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace that unleashes the talents of all employees to create value, deliver a superior client experience and develop innovative solutions for the markets and communities we serve. At RBC, we believe that by facilitating success for our employees, clients and communities through diversity, we can help create brighter futures for our many stakeholders. RBC proudly supports a range of diversity and community initiatives, contributing over $95 million to organizations worldwide in 2012.

Reaching E-Quality Employment Services

RE-ES logo link to Reaching E-Quality Employment Services Reaching E-Quality Employment Services (REES) is a community-based employment service with a consistent track record of assisting people with disabilities or health conditions to gain employment. Our mission statement is “to promote, facilitate, and maintain the employment of people with disabilities or health conditions by providing diverse and customized employment, training and consultation services”. Our services include one-on-one employment counseling and marketing, group seminars, resume and cover letter assistance, and employer and community workshops in the areas of Job Accommodation, Disability Awareness, and much more. REES . . . Better REESources; Better REESults.

Sair Training Employment Placement Services - STEPS

STEPS logo link to the STEPS website Sair Training Employment Placement Services - STEPS is an Employment and Training Centre providing individualized employment services to participants experiencing mental health issues or learning disabilities to assist them in choosing, securing, and maintaining paid employment. Small group trainings are available in a number of self-development areas utilizing advanced communication, goal-setting, and personal change technologies. Referrals are accepted from marketAbilities Program staff and Community Mental Health Workers.

Sara Riel Inc

Sara Riel logo logo for and link to the Sara Riel website Sara riel Inc. is a non-profit organization that was established in 1977 by the Grey Nuns of Canada in order to address the “revolving door syndrome” experienced by people living with mental illness.  In May of 2012 after the successful transition of the residents from our residential program to the community, the Sara Riel foundation purchased our new building located at 66 Moore Avenue where we continue to provide community, employment and housing support programs to those living with mental illness through compassion, respect and recovery based focus.

SCE Lifeworks

logo of SCE Lifeworks logo for and link to the SCE Lifeworks website SCE LifeWorks supports job seekers labelled with a developmental disability to find work in Winnipeg. We also help businesses that both want to find great employees and diversify their workforce — all at no cost to the employer. We are a non-profit organization proud to be providing solely inclusive (community based) services to Manitobans. SCE LifeWorks champions innovative endeavours such as Project SEARCH as well as the "Celebrating Progressive Employers and Capable Employees" series in the Winnipeg Free Press. We are also proud to be a supporting partner of the Ability Axis Employment Expo.

Service Canada

Service Canada logo link to the Service Canada website

Service Canada offers single-window access to a wide range of Government of Canada programs and services for citizens including Social Insurance Numbers, Employment Insurance benefits, Canada Pension Plan/Old Age Security benefits. Service Canada Centres are also the first point of contact for clients seeking information on Government of Canada programs such as the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, New Horizons for Seniors Program, Opportunities Fund for People with Disabilities and the Youth Employment Strategy.

TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust logo logo for and link to the TD Canada Trust website TD is a great organization powered by great people who want to make a difference every day. Our over 81,000 employees world-wide are a big part of what makes TD stand out from any other organization. Every day, we deliver legendary customer and client experiences to our approximately 19 million customers. We’re an award-winning organization that reinvests constantly to ensure future growth. We’re recognized as an extraordinary place to work that embraces diversity, where everyone is respected and valued. TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches, with many exciting and challenging career opportunities.

The Paper Fifrildi

The Paper Fifrildi logo logo for and link to The Paper Fifrildi website It is in the unspoken word that Milli designs exquisite paper creations which speak volumes. The gentle sensibility she coaxes out of recycled paper presents the viewer with the opportunity to sink into her tactile world like a soft pillow might receive a weary head. Ask anyone who has worked with her and they will tell you that the experience has changed them irrevocably. Milli expresses her creativeness through a collaborative process. Her needs, noted as special, do not limit or alter her creative energy that transforms more than just paper. Milli Flaig-Hooper, owner of The Paper Fifrildi, is a Paper Maker/Paper Artist, known for her unique style. Since 2007 when she began experimenting with recycled paper, Milli is now an award-winning, recognized artist both nationally & internationally.

The University of Winnipeg

University of Winnipeg logo logo for and link to the University of Winnipeg website There are many great reasons to choose The University of Winnipeg for your academic studies. As one of the highest ranked universities in Canada, we offer diverse programs, award-winning professors and unique research opportunities. In addition, our small class sizes, personal attention, accessible professors, and downtown location are all geared to help you excel and ensure you have a superior student experience. You are an individual here – it is the university where you matter most


WASO logo logo and link to the WASO Inc website

WASO Employment Services provides assistance and supports to individuals living with disabilities throughout the entire employment continuum. We offer individualized programming in order to provide the specific supports that are required by each person. Our services include (but are not limited to), resume preparation, interview training, career exploration, preparation for employment, support during the job search, on site assistance for the new employee to ensure they reach their comfort zone as quickly as possible and ongoing follow up for as long as required.

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba Logo logo and link to the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba website

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba has been recognized as one of Canada's Top Diversity Employers and Manitoba's Top 50 Employers. The WCB is an injury and disability insurance system for workers and employers, paid for by employers. The WCB workforce is made up of approximately 500 people who provide service to about 30,000 employers and help about 32,000 injured workers annually. The WCB is committed to building a skilled, diverse workforce with representation from persons with disabilities. Come visit us at our website or at our information booth to learn about all we have to offer as an Employer.

See the full 2013 Employment Expo Program

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We would like to thank and acknowledge our Partners in the 2013 Expo. Through their networks and contacts, they help spread the word about the Expo.

We were proud to have the support of the local organizations who pledged to partner with us by using their communications networks to promote the event throughout the community.

Business Partners

MCCA logo

MEEPA Logo link to the MEEPA website

Community Partners

  • Connect Employment Services
  • Diversity World
  • Eastman Employment Services
  • Premier Personnel
  • Red River College - Disability & Community Support Program
  • Reaching E-Quality Employment Services
  • Sair Centre for Learning
  • Sara Riel
  • SCE Lifeworks
  • Segue Career Options
  • Trailblazers LifeChoices
  • Westman Employment Services
  • Winnipeg Transition Centre

Below was the Schedule for the 2013 Employment Expo.

Centennial BallRoom Wellington Room Centennial
3 & 4
Rooms D & E
Registration opens for the
Best Practices Breakfast
Best Practices Breakfast
You Can Be an Ally: The VOICE Program *
Deb Dagit
(1.75 hours)
* Continuous throughout the day

Exhibit Hall Café will be open for snacks and light meals
Workshop:Self Employment: Learn Tips & Tools to Support Job Seekers through the Journey of Becoming an Entrepreneur *
Susan Bater, Lindsay Dandeneau, Simon Methot & Alison Kirkland
(1.5 hours)
Workshop:Seven Essentials for a Successful Job Search *
Presenters: Denise Bissonnette & Kimberley Halwas
(1.5 hours)
Workshop: The Art of Disclosing Disability *
Presenters: Denise Bissonnette & Kimberley Halwas
(1 hour)
Exhibits Close
Networking Reception for Speakers and Exhibitors
(.5 hours in the café area)
* ASL Interpreters will be present at these sessions
and available in the Exhibit Hall all day


photo of Deb DagitDeb Dagit was our Premiere Speaker and presented twice during the Expo. She delivered You can Be An Ally: The VOICE Program, the keynote at our Best Practices Breakfast. Deb also presented Including People with Disabilities in Your Diversity Efforts: What A Difference a VOICE Can Make in the afternoon

Given her own visible disability, Deb’s insights are drawn from both her personal experience and professional...

Here are the links to information that Deb presented at the Best Practices Breakfast:

Read more about Deb

photo of DeniseDenise Bissonette presented two topics along with Kimberley Halwas - Seven Essentials for a Successful Job Search and The Art of Disclosing Disability.

A Partner in Diversity World, Denise is an internationally renowned writer, trainer and keynote speaker. For two decades...
Read more about Denise

photo of Kimberley HalwasKimberley Halwas presented two topics along with Denise Bissonnette. Seven Essentials for a Successful Job Search and The Art of Disclosing Disability.

Kimberley, a local career counsellor and employment coach, has instructed hundreds of job seekers in discovering their...
Read more about Kimberley

Nancy Brommell from the Women's Enterprise Centre (WEC), Lindsay Dandeneau from Entrepreneurship Manitoba, Simon Methot of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), Joel Martine of the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM) and Susan Bater from the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP) presented Self Employment: Learn Tips and Tools to Support Job Seekers through the Journey of Becoming an Entrepreneur.

Here is the list below of companies and organizations that committed to support the 2013 Employment Expo and our broader efforts to increase the employment and career success of Manitobans with disabilities.


Google: Yahoo: MSN:

Ability Axis Partners

Manitoba Customer Contact Association logo link to the MCCA website

Funded By

Government of Canada Logo logo for and link to Government of Canada website

Province of Manitoba logo logo for and link to the Province of Manitoba website