This year, the bullfrogpowered community helped fund rooftop solar panels for Prospect Human Services’ head office in Calgary. Prospect is a nonprofit that provides employment support and services to about 15,000 Albertans annually, and they’re best known for breaking down barriers that prevent individuals from finding meaningful work. Even amid the impact of COVID-19, they’ve been successfully placing about 40 people a month into permanent full-time jobs.
Breaking down barriers to employment
Kevin McNichol, Prospect’s CEO, explained that barriers to employment include physical and developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome or brain injury, psychological and emotional barriers, such as anxiety or schizophrenia, and social barriers like discrimination or poverty.
To remove those barriers, Prospect works with both job seekers and more than 800 employers. “We show employers the advantages of having inclusive hiring practices and how they can support a diverse workforce,” Kevin said. “They’re often surprised that most of these practices cost little to no money and can add considerable strategic, financial, and social value to their organizations.”
Not all job seekers are successful in traditional classroom settings, so Prospect offers alternatives that incorporate art and the outdoors. “For example, geocaching is an excellent means to teach people communication skills, teamwork, and how to cope with anxiety—critical skills in most employment settings,” Kevin said. “Most clients learn more rapidly using this approach because they’re practicing the skills in real time. Not to mention, it’s way more fun than sitting in a classroom!”
Bringing solar power to Prospect
Prospect saw installing solar panels as a way to practice their values, including innovation, enthusiasm, and drive. “We’re always looking for ways to incorporate new technologies in order to better serve our clients,” Kevin noted. “In this case, we leapt at the chance to reduce our emissions footprint at the same time.”
After about a year, the 66.5 MW solar installation has saved Prospect $5,300. “That covers all installation costs,” Kevin said. “In future years, we’ll be using those savings to purchase critical infrastructure like computers and equipment for our outdoor activities. It can be difficult to secure funding for that equipment, but it’s essential to the people we serve.”
We sincerely thank all bullfrogpowered individuals and organizations for making this project possible and sharing the benefits of green energy with Albertans in need. To learn more about the projects you support, click here.