The Supported Employment program is person-centred and focuses on the interests of the job seeker
One of Stephen’s responsibilities is to pack and unpack the truck. It takes a lot of effort to get everything back in the correct place so that everything fits safely. As Stephen says, “It’s like a puzzle. Everything has to be organized and systematically put in. Otherwise it’s hard to get other equipment out. I’ve learned a lot of great skills – organization is key to this job … you need a system.”
For 65 years, North Shore ConneXions Society has been fostering an environment of inclusion by supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities. The organization provides quality programs and services which support the development, independence and empowerment of adults, children and families. They also work in partnership with society members and the community to advocate for developing a full range of community-based services to meet the unique needs of each person.
Employment ConneXions is one such service, assisting those with barriers to employment find long term and fulfilling work that meets their strengths and skills.
Meet one of the participants in the Employment Program - Stephen works at Bur-Han Garden and Lawn Care Landscapers where his responsibilities vary from raking and weeding to hedge trimming and ensuring that all of the equipment is working properly. Of all his daily tasks, he most enjoys trimming the hedges. Stephen says, “You have to pay attention … if you accidently cut something wrong, it takes a lot of work to fix it. It’s challenging.”
Stephen is a social person and really loves his team, particularly his supervisor, Kevin. “Kevin and I work well together. If I need help, I ask Kevin. He knows that I have an issue remembering the numbers that I need to push on the tablet to check in and out. So, he helps me with that.”
“My job coach at North Shore ConneXions is very good. She helped find me a job that I really love. I was interested in landscaping. I learned how to do this job hands on – you don’t learn this from a book. I wanted to learn something new and how to work as a team. My coach listened to what I wanted and helped me find something that I liked. I haven’t missed one day of work … I love it here and fit in very well.”
Being part of the Bur-Han team is great for Stephen AND for Bur-Han. The team works well together and has figured out a strategy so that everyone succeeds. Kevin, the team leader has enabled Stephen to focus on areas of interest and skill and has taken the time to develop ways for Stephen to improve and grow.
The Employment Specialists at North Shore ConneXions connect with employers to promote inclusivity in the workforce and offer job coaching services and ongoing support once an employee with diverse abilities is hired. Inclusive hiring brings many benefits to a business, including increased community engagement and social investment, and higher staff retention rates.
The Supported Employment program is person-centred and focuses on the interests of the job seeker. The team gets to know the individual’s strengths, skills, and employment interests and then explores different opportunities to find a good fit.
The North Shore ConneXions Supported Employment Program has partnered with many businesses across the North Shore including Home Depot, Walmart, Bluhouse Market & Cafe, Cineplex Theatres, London Drugs, Queensdale Market, Starbucks, Bee Haven Childcare, West Vancouver Police Department, Deep Cove Brewers and Two Daughters Bakeshop.
North Shore ConneXions also offers Employment & Community Awareness (ECA) Presentations. Through interactive and educational workshops, employers and their teams learn about the challenges faced by those who identify as having a disability. They also learn about the talents, skills and rich emotional contributions these individuals bring to their communities, friends and workplaces. These presentations will inspire your teams to welcome diversity, encourage differences, and ultimately contribute to building communities where all people are valued and included.
Tanya Vipond, Employment Specialist /
604-375-4791 / email: email@example.com