Optimism, persistence bear fruit

September was Disability Employment Awareness Month in B.C. This edition of CLBC Connect shares family and employer stories and tips.

Wade (left) had been searching for meaningful work and Richard (right) needed an eager, focused employee to join his beverage company. A community connection helped create an employment opportunity that benefits them both.

Optimism, persistence and a good work ethic can really pay off when looking for a job. But it’s also who you get to know when you are involved in your community and making connections with others that can really make a difference.

Richard, owner of JR Beverages in Kelowna, was looking for an eager and task-focused employee. He had been mentioning to friends and family that he was looking for a new person to be a part of his company’s production line making sparkling cider.

Wade is a bright and energetic young man who had been looking for the right job for many years.

Wade’s mom Lindsay and Richard’s wife work together. Lindsay was mentioning her son’s unsuccessful attempts at finding meaningful work and at that moment, Lindsay made a connection that would change Wade’s employment future.

Lindsay and Wade connected with Richard who described what he was looking for in an employee. Wade went in for a job interview and having the skills Richard was looking for, the job fell into place.

Finding a sparkling fit

Its been one year since Lindsay had the casual conversation at work and Wade continues to work at JR Beverages pressing and bottling sparkling cider. “I love my job,” said Wade. “Shouldn’t everyone have the chance to work in a place that makes them happy? I was looking for a job that was the right fit for me for the last seven years, and now I have one.”

Wade works bottling sparking cider at JR Beverages, where he is a valued member of the team. Finding the right opportunity to use his skills has helped Wade realize his potential and contribute to the success of the business.

The job was such a great fit that Wade did not need a job coach, employment supports or any adaptions to the workplace. Wade has been successful because he thrives in a calm environment and excels when given clear direction, and that is exactly the way Richard runs his business.

“Richard drove Wade home after his first day of work and as Wade was getting out of the car, Richard thanked him and told him that being there has made a real difference to the team,” said Lindsay. “People just want to feel valued and often they are never told directly how valuable they are. Richard has been honest and real with Wade since day one.”

“Richard has been a great mentor. He speaks directly to me as he would anyone else, he doesn’t go through a support worker to tell me how I am doing or to give me direction. He works directly with me and he wants me to succeed,” says Wade.

“Hiring Wade was just as much a benefit for me as it was for Wade,” said Richard. “I needed another staff member, someone who could learn quickly and get to work. Wade quickly became a part of the team and we would not feel the same going to work everyday without Wade there. He brings a great deal of optimism and energy to the workplace. Plus, he’s really good at his job.”

“Everyone should have the opportunity to find meaningful work,” said Lindsay. “Wade participates fully in his workplace. He does the same thing as everyone else who works there, and Richard the owner has empowered him to realize his full potential. Its really exciting to see.”

“Our goal is to continue to expand and grow and hire more people with the same set of skills as Wade,” said Richard. “Wade is focused, fun to be around and contributes greatly to the success of this business.”

Helping people access opportunities

Jobs help to develop strengths and interests, forge relationships and bring people closer to their community. Every person has unique talents that can be matched to the right job that benefits both the person and their employer. Community Living BC (CLBC) believes everyone who wants to work, should have access to employment. If you are CLBC eligible, you can choose to access employment support through a CLBC service provider in your area or you can go to WorkBC. A CLBC facilitator can also help you consider these different options.

To talk with a CLBC facilitator about what employment supports you may be eligible for, please contact your local CLBC office. Find contact information for all CLBC offices here.

To learn more about Richard’s company and how you can apply to be a part of the team, visit the Okanagan Apple Essence website here.

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