Employer sees STEP to Work program as mentorship opportunity
March 15th, 2012
Several years ago, Stephanie Jackson worked for an Ontario school board placing students with disabilities with businesses willing to offer them work experience. Now, as owner of Marble Slab Creamery in Vancouver’s English Bay neighbourhood, Stephanie was able to give back by participating in BC Housing’s STEP to Work program in summer 2011 as an employer/mentor.
“I remember how happy I was when a business would take a student, so I was happy to give back,” said Stephanie. “I saw the program as an opportunity to mentor someone.”
BC Housing covers the wages of the program participants and provides training in CPR, Standard First Aid, FOODSAFE, WHIMIS, and Back Awareness. Eighteen-year-old BC Housing resident Cerise was Stephanie’s STEP to Work employee.
“Cerise was wonderful and very capable,” commented Stephanie. “She took her job placement seriously and she really wanted to be successful. Over the summer, she became very good at customer service and she also learned skills like handling cash.”
Stephanie offered Cerise continuing employment after the program ended. “It felt good to be offered a part-time job and it’s been really nice to work there after the program ended,” said Cerise. “It’s hard to find a job, so I was happy when Stephanie offered me one.”
Stephanie looks forward to being a STEP to Work employer/mentor again in the coming years.