Celebrating Diverse Abilities

Each of these stories was shared to us by someone in the community who has received help to achieve their goals - and three randomly drawn entries have received a VISA gift card - thank you to everyone who participated!

We have used first and/or last name initials to protect the privacy of individuals mentioned in these stories.

My goal was to get a job. Port Alberni Association for Community Living (PAACL) and Community Employment Program has got me jobs different places, that have been very helpful in my job experience – L

My name is K. I’ve worked at Quality Foods since 2019. I work in the Deli department. In 2018 I took an employment transitions Kitchen Assistant program at NIC where I did my work experience at Quality Foods. I came to the Community Employment Program where she helped me get a job at Quality Foods. I work two days a week, 2 hours each shift. I prepare many items in the deli. I love my job. – K

In 2014 I was a client of the Community Employment Program where I attended a job club. When I was ready for a job she (MG) took me to apply at Extra Foods (now No Frills) and Walmart. She helped me through the interview process and the training at both places. I am still working at both locations and absolutely love my jobs. I stock shelves, put away returns, assist customers and many more job tasks. I am appreciated at both of my jobs. – K

Back in October 2005, MG at Community Employment Program helped me to get a job at the Paramount Theatre. Back then I would take the people’s tickets. Now things have changed as there is no more tickets. Now I help to keep the theatre clean. Due to Covid I clean the nice seats very clean. I work once a week, 2-3 hours a week. – B

I used to work at USMA & the Tseshaht Band office since 2012. My role was cleaning, shredding and recycling. When Covid happened I lost both of those jobs. On August 10, 2021 the staff at Community Employment Program helped me to get a new job at the Port Alberni Friendship Center. I clean the gym, tables & centre. I work 2 hours a week and I like my job. – J

I have been working at the Port Alberni Port Authority for 6 seasons since it is a job that is during the spring and summer months. I have worked at the China Creek Marina and Campground from May 2013 to September 2016. It was truly an unforgettable experience, both with the beautiful and natural environment and the friendly and welcoming campers, as well as my great co-workers and my manager A.T. I do miss working there but I had other opportunities. After that year later I started working at Fisherman’s Harbour again with my previous manager A.T. as well as new co-workers since April of 2017 and this year in 2021. The environment there is much different than the campground. The people there are as nice as before. – T

I started working at the King Edward Liquor Store for K.P. in 2015. MG at the Community Employment Program helped me find my job. I love working there. I clean all the glass on the cooler doors and the front window. I sweep the inside of the store and sweep the parking lot. –T

Hi, my name is M. I am with the Community Employment Program. They helped me find my job at Canadian Tire 4 years ago. I work in the garden department in the summer. I water the plants, help customers with their orders and build boxes for plant trays. In the winter months I put the new stock on the shelves. I love my job. – M

In May of 2021, J signed up for the Pathways Forward Program through WorkBC. Part of the course was at NIC where he was supported by the PAACL staff. He then finished the market program at the Shelter Farm where he learned hands on skills. Between WorkBC, NIC and PAACL it was a very successful program for J. He then applied to stay on the farm as an employee. – J

I started my first paying job at Starbucks in 2016. I remember being nervous and unsure if I could do it. In the beginning I required one-on-one support to complete my tasks. With the support of PAACL and the Starbucks staff, my confidence and ability to complete my job duties has soared. I am able to work somewhat independently. I am also the longest standing staff member at Starbucks besides my manager. – J

INEO has helped me get motivated to work again. – T

INEO has helped me find myself again. I lost my wife to a fall in the kitchen. She was a quadriplegic for 10 months and then passed away just after my mom at Christmas 2021. I just love working at Shelter Farm. I’m 65 and should retire, but I like the work. I’ve got two deformed wrists from a truck running over me, they hurt, but so! – S

Even though I’m weird while taking to myself (God speaking), I was able to do good for my community with plants and nature at the Shelter Farm. Thank you G and J and everyone else who has made this new journey of mine possible. My goal was to get out of poverty, and I believe I’m that much closer, thanks to attending the Farmworkers Fundamentals course through North Island College and then through INEO with a wage paying program. It’s just the beginning, and so far, so good! - B