There are so many great stories to tell! Our youth (and their parents) have a lot to teach us about the challenges they faced moving from school to work, and the solutions that worked best for them. Here we share that wisdom!
Written by Laurie McShane, Employment Services Facilitator
In January 2019 Employment Services received a phone call from a young man named Kurtis. He had recently moved to Kingston, had experience in manufacturing and production, and was looking for help to find a job that was the right fit for his lifestyle. He had explored work with a temp agency, but found the short duration of assignments, inconsistent expectations, and lack of stability difficult. Furthermore, he wanted to find a long term career where he could explore personal and professional growth.
The timing was perfect. Kwik Shred just happened to be hiring at that time and Kurtis was interviewed and offered a job as a part time Production Assistant in hopes of building skills, increasing confidence and regaining control of his future. For one year, Kurtis learned all aspects of production and became a model employee amongst his peers. Keeping his employment goals in the forefront, Employment Services worked with Kurtis to explore long-term competitive employment in the community.
In early 2020 Employment Services was pleased to partner with Kingston’s Pepsico manager David Freeman. Nationally, Pepsico is an active member of Ready, Willing and Able (RWA); a national partnership between Canadian Association for Community Living and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance. David was interested in taking on this initiative locally. Looking to fill a warehouse position, David was seeking an experienced production worker. Luckily for Kurtis, his work experience gave him the necessary skills to apply. Kurtis was offered the warehouse job at Pepsico and had his first shift on March 9, 2020. Despite the challenges that Covid 19 has created in the community and workplaces, Kurtis’ position and Pepsi’s commitment have remained solid. He will be completing his forklift certification in October 2020.
We are pleased that Kwik Shred has proven to be a place of skills based training in production and manufacturing, encouraging and supporting individuals to work in a “flow-through” model where they can move onto careers in the community with opportunities for advancement. Kurtis has been the ideal role model for this initiative and plans on returning to Kwik Shred as a mentor; hoping to encourage his peers to explore their dreams.
Kurtis celebrating his promotion from Kwik Shred, and first day of work at Pepsico working on repackaging. Best of Luck Kurtis!
Finding the right fit pays off!
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