One local organization and one individual have been awarded with Premier’s Council Awards for their efforts to create an inclusive, barrier free community. Both Cecil Pizzey and Goodwill’s Power of Work Program were recognized at a ceremony held on the International Day for Person’s with Disabilities.

Goodwill’s Power to Work Program received the Award of Excellence in Employment for their work to provide job and volunteer experience for people with disabilities in the Grande Prairie area. The Alberta Human services website describes the Premier’s Council Award of Excellence in Employment as an award “to an individual employer or team that has made a significant contribution to a barrier-free, inclusive work environment.” Program Manager Sarah Christie-Wurz was on hand to accept the award on Goodwill’s behalf.

“It’s very special for our team to be recognized by the Premier’s Council because it means bringing awareness to Grande Prairie as an inclusive community. We are able to help individuals with disabilities find meaningful jobs in Grande Prairie because of the support of the local businesses.”

The program has been around for 16 years. Goodwill Alberta is one of the largest employers of Albertans with disabilities; 27 per cent of Goodwill employees chose to self-disclose their disability. Goodwill has been providing jobs for Albertans with disabilities for close to 50 years.

Cecil Pizzey received the Marlin Styner Achievement Award for his efforts fundraising and continuing to live life to the fullest after a cancer diagnosis left him without a voice box. He was also confined to a wheelchair and in constant pain when he ended up in a long-term care facility. He embraced his situation fully and began working with Spinal Cord Injury Alberta planning their Chair-Leaders Enabling Access Events. He is an active volunteer and advocate within the community.