Threadworks will be a flexible and tailored skills training program for people with disabilities who are not currently engaged in the workforce, not well served by current programs, and impacted by the lack of employment opportunities. The need for Threadworks arose from the number of people seeking sewing skills and the number of contracts received from Craftworks and Common Thread.
Threadworks will be an accredited training program that will promote labour market participation in the cut-and-sew and apparel industries. The project will tailor curricula to address the complex needs of participants and to facilitate employment opportunities through social enterprise and for-profit industry collaboration. Flexible practicum-style opportunities will be incorporated to transition participants into paid employment. There are currently no accredited programs of this nature in Canada.
The social goal of Threadworks is to dismantle the stigma that people with disabilities are unproductive and unreliable in the workforce. Mental illness is an evolving process and Threadworks will be open to fluctuations in participants’ health that affects their ability to proceed with training and employment. The project will lead to a cultural reinterpretation of what it means to have a disability in the labour market/workforce. Threadworks will adopt a holistic support model that includes industry partners, healthcare providers, community/social enterprises, and employment services.