Success Stories & Program Profiles

WorkBC helps job-seeker ‘keep his spirits up’ not just once or twice, but three times

WorkBC helps job-seeker ‘keep his spirits up’ not just once or twice, but three times

Brian McLean just knew he would thrive in a role where he got to support the bookkeeping of a small business, but as a newcomer to the North Okanagan with a background in customer service, he found himself spinning his tires.

“I had a few jobs, but I needed help to get my resume focused for the kinds of positions I really wanted to be in,” says McLean…

‘WorkBC helped me regain my confidence’: Admin assistant lands dream job in Vernon

‘WorkBC helped me regain my confidence’: Admin assistant lands dream job in Vernon

Sharon Hamming has done it all. She’s cleaned barns and milked cattle as a dairy farmer. She’s cared for the sick and the elderly as a healthcare assistant. She’s raised a child.

Then, her allergic reactions to latex gloves and chemicals started getting worse, and she knew it was time to find a new path—one that would give her hands a much-needed rest. Only, after decades of physical work, she didn’t know how….

‘Saved my life’: WorkBC care aide forge path to fulfilling career

‘Saved my life’: WorkBC care aide forge path to fulfilling career

One year into her new career as a health care assistant, after a lifetime of working in restaurants, Candace Shaw said anything is possible if you put in the effort and have the right people in your corner.

Now a care aide at a Vernon retirement facility, Candace’s journey started while waiting tables. One day, after serving several nurses and care aides, it clicked…

Guy Works to Meet Goals with WorkBC

Guy Works to Meet Goals with WorkBC

Guy (pronounced: Gee) Fafard had hit rock bottom. He had lost his job, his relationship, and most importantly, his daughter. His alcoholism had taken over his life and he had hit a point where he knew he needed to make a change.

During his six months living unhoused on the streets of Vernon, despite his own struggles, Guy went out of his way to help others…

‘Couldn’t see myself doing anything else full-time’: WorkBC client’s first year as an RMT

‘Couldn’t see myself doing anything else full-time’: WorkBC client’s first year as an RMT

Uttam Gala doesn’t believe in closing doors. As he celebrates one year in his successful practice as a registered massage therapist, Uttam uses his past, his passion and his love of community to guide him forwards.

Born in Mumbai, India, Uttam moved to Canada 10 years ago to pursue an education in Adventure Sports Management. After working as a whitewater rafting guide in Jasper…

‘You can do this’: Journey to meaningful employment

‘You can do this’: Journey to meaningful employment

From pushing a food cart through the winding halls beneath Vernon Jubilee Hospital to her role as an administrator in a comfortable chair, Dörte Kargut’s road to fulfilling employment was long and windy.

But, as she sits at her desk at Interior Health today, a smile fills her bright face. Despite the twists and turns, Kargut knew that, with the help of her growing network, her ideal job was just around the corner…

‘Proving people wrong’: Carving her own path as a woman in trades

‘Proving people wrong’: Carving her own path as a woman in trades

For Carmen Eby, there’s nothing like seeing the look on a young girl’s face when she pulls up in her work van.

“Sometimes I go to peoples’ houses, and they have a little girl. They always say, ‘Look, mom!
It’s a girl.’ Heck yeah, it’s a girl,” Eby smiles.

An electrician with a small company in Lumby…

Forging a New Path

Forging a New Path

Brad Collis stands behind a table of his creations—small, red oak boxes with intricate designs that will soon hold someone’s change, dice, jewelry or even a pet’s ashes. To get here, it’s taken Brad a lot of learning…

‘Overcoming challenges’ with the help of WorkBC and FASD Okanagan

‘Overcoming challenges’ with the help of WorkBC and FASD Okanagan

 J.J. settles into a wooden chair and folds his hands at his waist. As he looks about the small meeting room, a sense of calm washes over him. He’s comfortable here. “I’ve been proving people wrong my entire life,”…

WorkBC Helps Client Find Meaningful Employment

‘Once you get help, everything is easier’: WorkBC helps client find meaningful employment

It’s 7 p.m. on a cold October night. Harl Rowe gets out of bed to prepare for his shift at Vernon’s FreshCo. For some, the overnight shift is an isolating experience. But, for Rowe, it’s the perfect job…

WorkBC Helps Client Succeed in School

‘One foot in front of the other’: WorkBC Helps Client Succeed in School

Ask her today, and she’d say a flexible career that puts her skill and passion to work is all she wants. But, if you had asked Caitlin Heinloo about her future 10 years ago…

Skills Training Opens Doors

Skills Training Offers a Hand Up 

As a telecommunications call centre customer service representative, Dan Dakin spent hours answering questions and solving issues for clients. However …

‘Bridges opened my eyes’

‘Bridges opened my eyes’

Michelle Scurt remembers the first day of the Bridges program, the anxious feelings growing heavy at her chest as she walked along the sidewalk downtown. She imagined herself turning around, going home. Having the kind of day she usually had: washing dishes, fixing dinner, talking with her adult kids. But Michelle remembered she’d wanted to show her son and daughter that despite everything, she could do something…

‘They really care’: WorkBC Centre helps Cynthia find her perfect job

‘They really care’: WorkBC Centre helps Cynthia find her perfect job

At 63-years-old, Cynthia Roberts arrived at a crossroads’. The office building where she worked in Calgary had burned down and staff were laid off, but she wasn’t ready to retire. She could find another admin job and work there until she turned 65 or take a chance…

‘With Me the Whole Way’: WorkBC helps client find long-term success

‘With Me the Whole Way’: WorkBC helps client find long-term success

Jerry Ward still remembers his first phone call with Farm Bound. The organic food delivery service reached out to WorkBC to hire two or three part-time employees to help ramp up production. And then Farm Bound met and hired JK…

Self-Employment Success for Sandy

Property Maintenance Business is on Point Thanks to WorkBC’s Self-Employment Services

While on one of their first dates, now married couple Sandy and Scott Lenton hiked Pine Point Trail in Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park. Marvelling at the view of where the Whiteshell River drops down to fast-flowing rapids…

Wage Subsidy Success

Armstrong Tradesperson Hits the Gas on Her Career

As a first-year gas-fitter apprentice handing out resumes in Kelowna two years ago, Ashley West felt like she wasn’t being taken seriously…

Customized Employment Dream Job

Beautiful Allies

One of Bridgett’s employees, Sarafina, is a perfect example of Bridget’s theory. “Growing up we went to The Salvation Army a lot”, Sarafina says. Now in her 20s, Sarafina, the daughter of a strong, hardworking…

Disability Employment Month Celebrates Success

Embarking on a New Adventure

Plates squeak underhand, as Annie Stanyer scrubs off the remains of the day. Standing at the…

Canadian Disability Employment Month

Finding a Station in Life

The smell of frying bacon and smoky ribs hit the nostrils as Karrie Würmann enters the restaurant to start her shift by flipping the coffee on and getting the laundry going …

WorkBC helps operator find life-long career

‘That’s a great feeling’: WorkBC helps operator find life-long career

When Diliah Quigley went back to school in early 2020, her goal was clear: secure employment closer to home. And, after nine years working at a mine site as a heavy equipment operator…

Sustainment Success With WorkBC

WorkBC Employment Program Draw Winner Announced

When Michelle Hemsley got the call on April 1 telling her she had won $500, she thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Hemsley, a participant in the WorkBC Employment Services Program in Vernon…

Customized Employment Opens Doors

A League of His Own

Kobe Funk stands rinkside as a group of young men stickhandle the puck, carving ice from one end of the arena to the other. A whistle blows…

Finding Success Through WorkBC

Fulfilling an Essential role

On any given day, Laryssa Wolansky can hear laughter and chatter emitting from the four residences she helps manage. Then there are those days when…

Vernon Man Finds the Right Fit With WorkBC

Terry: A Man of All Trades

After some health issues, Terry
Konopada turned his life around with help and support from WorkBC. He gained essential labour skills while working on farms and orchards…

Success in Self-Employment

Self-Employment Program Helps Videographer Shoot for the Stars

Mike Babott doesn’t believe in sticking a lens in anyone’s face. Whether filming a local health care facility or a metal and wood fabricator, Mike uses his video camera in …

BC Disability Month

Tackling An Injury to Find a New Job

Despite living with a back injury, Dena Sharkey has always felt at peace sitting in a boat surrounded by wilderness, with a fishing rod in hand. She has spent her life camping, hunting, and …

Disability Employment Month

If You Have Any Questions, Ask Jeffrey

Jeffrey Heinrich checks the supply of fresh fish by the lobster tanks at the Vernon Real Canadian Superstore. Carrying a small LCD writing tablet with him, called a Boogie Board …

Wage Subsidy

How a Wage Subsidy Client Became a Read Head

Shiny book covers stand out amongst the fruit and vegetables as Kate Mahaits greets passing customers at the Vernon Farmers’ Market. Her role today is as a bookseller and reading enthusiast …

Self-Employment Program

Enderberry Farm Ripens with Help from Self-Employment Program

Brittany Bennett reaches down to pluck a juicy, red berry from a leafy green patch and looks beyond to the rows of late-season strawberries that will remain ripe until mid-July. The distinctive plateau of the Enderby Cliffs, formed by lava flows …


Bridging a Gap: Family Starts Over Thanks To Bridges

Ruth Anderson takes hold of the handrail and crosses the bridge that spans over Vernon creek. She has taken many senior residents of Vernon Restholm, the retirement residence where she works …