‘Everyone should be able to earn some money,’ says adult support worker
Monday October 24, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
With the City of Burnaby’s support and the vocational services and training programs from the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), the opportunities for economic inclusion and employment for people of all abilities is growing in momentum.
Adult support worker Jonathan Bryce is seeing results, and says he “likes the way things are going.”
Jonathan says the training exercises the BACI’s Employment and Supported Training (BEST) initiative provides is a great step towards economic inclusion.
BEST’s employment specialists teach the people BACI supports step-by-step how to get jobs, says Jonathan.
The BEST program is a personalized service focused to meet employers’ business needs through positive and innovative employment solutions. It matches job-specific skills and provides on-the-job support and training to make employment opportunities more inclusive.
For example, performing services as a coffee shop or a gas station can be reviewed and practiced so the people BACI supports are comfortable with all the steps involved in performing services.
“Everyone should work and earn some money, even if it’s just part time,” says Jonathan.
He says even small part-time jobs are proving economic inclusion is moving in a constructive direction as they are becoming more common in the community.
Jonathan says he’s helping the man he supports earn a grant and access to a van so he can begin his own business making deliveries. The man already delivers flowers twice a week to Burnaby South Secondary School.
“He’s been doing that since he went to high school, and continues to do that twice a week,” says Jonathan. “That’s a good job for him.”
One of BACI’s social enterprise programs, the Work Crew, which cuts grass, trims hedges and makes deliveries, is also providing opportunities for the people BACI supports to gain work experience.
Other programs include Action Packaging and the Grape Box. These enterprises provide paid training and supportive employment opportunities for people who have a developmental disability.
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