STORY – Employment and well being: Job Delivers more than papers

Kamloops employer Downtown Echo is benefiting from the work of Velvet.

Kamloops employer Downtown Echo is benefiting from the work of Velvet.

“One of the best things about inclusive employment is seeing first-hand how much a person enjoys their position, how delighted they are to go out the door to work every day and how much pride they take,” says Kristine Moller, an employment counsellor at Thompson Community Services (TCS).

TCS began its employment program in Kamloops recently to help more individuals find and keep work. It’s part of a CLBC Community Action Employment Plan (CAEP) pilot project aiming to push employment to new levels by having local groups create community employment plans and work more closely with employers. TCS is working with community partners like Work BC.

Among the first to benefit was a young woman named Velvet, and her new employer the Downtown Echo, a Kamloops neighbourhood newspaper.

“I was introduced to Velvet the first week I started working at TCS,” says Moller. “She was a ball of energy, raring to go and more than ready to find employment. She had specific job needs so it took a few months to find her a position that would be a good fit. During those few months, she would eagerly follow up with me on a weekly basis.”

The right match was finally in place when a job as a delivery person came up at the Downtown Echo. As it was a fairly large route to cover, TCS transformed some of Velvet’s community inclusion hours every Wednesday to support her in her job. That supports another part of CLBC’s vision – to build the capacity of inclusion programs to support those who want to work.

The first time Velvet and her support worker did the route, it took about four hours and Velvet needed support to go in and out of businesses to drop off the paper. However, just a few short weeks later, Velvet was able to go independently into businesses, and the time to do the route was reduced by half.

“Velvet is thrilled with her position and really looks forward to receiving her paycheque,” says Moller, “We hope for Velvet to be ready to work more in the future but for right now, once a week is a perfect amount for her to feel like she is actively contributing to society and making a difference in her own life.”

Paperstory


To learn more about employment supports in  your community for your family member, contact your nearest CLBC office.

Visit our web site here to learn more about the Community Action Employment Plan.

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