Dustin was unemployed and looking for part-time work. As a youth with Autism and non-verbal communication, Dustin had unique challenges and abilities.
He was receiving services from New Direction and financial support through Community Living BC. It was suggested to Dustin and his family that they reach out to WorkBC in Smithers to seek a supportive employment opportunity and to see what services may be available.
With the support of his mom, Dustin met his new WorkBC Case Manager and entered the Customized Employment program of EPBC. A meeting was arranged with the service provider from New Directions to seek advice and ideas for supportive employment. The Case Manager spent time with Dustin at his day program and out in the community with him and his support worker, observing Dustin’s skills and abilities. Dustin participated in both formal and informal assessments.
The next step was meeting with the WorkBC Job Developer. Job coaching requirements were discussed and addressed with the other service providers. The Job Developer met with Bulkley Valley (BV) Wholesale, who wanted to bring Dustin on as a member of the team. They considered health and safety issues as well as customer interaction. BV Wholesale worked with all parties to develop a system for Dustin to respond to customers approaching him with questions.
While exploring employment options, Dustin met a Job Coach who would provide support when a position was secured. Once BV Wholesale was ready to move forward with a working relationship, the Case Manager reached out to the Opportunities funding program. In October 2017, Dustin and BV Wholesale secured Wage Subsidy to the end of the year, a Job Coach was contracted, and Dustin started work. When Wage Subsidy ended, BV Wholesale confirmed that Dustin was hired!
WorkBC continued to work with BV Wholesale and Dustin’s other service providers. Minor adjustments were made to his work schedule to accommodate a new Job Coach that Dustin knew well through his day program. Dustin now works part-time two days per week, facing shelves, unloading boxes, recycling cardboard, re-stocking, and rotating stock based on best before dates.