Testimonial of a Successful Community Partnership

The Workability program started in 2013 with the express objective of offering employment opportunities to people with a variety of barriers to long term employment. Right now, the Workability Program employs 17 people on a part-time basis in three different social enterprises.

“We want to offer our participants experience in real work”, said Marjorie Driscoll, Executive Director. The Workability Program currently operates a tree farm where participants grow trees which are sold on a wholesale basis. They also operate a pie-making social enterprise which sells pies to the Pie Factory in Parksville as well as operating a Thrift Store. By operating a number of different Social Enterprises, Participants learn real work skills, become socially engaged, build their self confidence and become successfully employed in meaningful work specifically tailored to their interests and aptitudes.

“We have worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters on a volunteer basis helping out with their events”, said Marjorie. “Because of that, they approached us to hire people to work in their Recycled Clothing Program.” Right now, Three Workability Participants are working in the Recycled Clothing Program. “We have received tremendous feedback that our three participants are their best workers!”, she said.

Suzie Snow, one of the participants who works in the Recycled Clothing Program enjoys her job with Big Brothers Big Sisters. “The people are great to work with, everyone is kind and I get some great exercise.”, she said. “Everyone looks out for each other and working there helps out Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

Marjorie had great things to say about the partnership between the two organizations. “Its a great relationship and offers our participants real work for real pay. I think this partnership is a great model for how two non profit organizations can work together in a win-win scenario.”

For more information on the Workability Program, visit http://www.work-ability.ca or give them a call at 250-586-0086.