It’s clear that one of the most powerful ways for people to be lifted out of poverty is through employment. Having meaningful employment positively impacts an individual’s physical and mental well-being, providing a sense of purpose, identity, and self-esteem. It is more than a paycheck—it is also one of the most permanent and lasting solutions to poverty, offering a pathway to social inclusion and economic well-being. Despite its key contribution to people’s health, sense of worth, and social relationships, many individuals who are able and wanting to work face barriers to employment. As Calgary’s unemployment rate climbs to the highest in Canada, unemployment becomes a critical issue. It keeps people in a never-ending cycle of poverty, and prohibits them from fully participating in the economy and building a fulfilling life.
United Way invests in programs and services that remove barriers to employment opportunities by providing career counselling, education, and skills training. Our investments ensure vulnerable individuals—such as people with disabilities and immigrants—have access to employment programs that develop their skills, networks, and opportunities to find and maintain meaningful employment.