TeenWork is a truly innovative program designed to change the life path of young people with disabilities by helping them find and retain paid part-time employment. A TeenWork job coach works with participating teens and their families, as well as local businesses, to find and prepare each youth for a part-time job. The program manager or a job coach then works with the teens as each develops new skills and becomes comfortable in his or her workplace.
The concept for TeenWork originated with a group of community partners, informally called the Greater Victoria Teen Employment Consortium - the members of which provide disability support services in Greater Victoria and the surrounding area.
CanAssist acted as the catalyst to bring this group together in mid-2008 and continues to play the role of facilitator and secretariat for all consortium activities. By the beginning of 2009, TeenWork was a very small "pre-pilot" project with a few teens participating. Today, about 29 young people participate at any given time, with older participants transitioning to adult employment supports as new teens join us.
To date, participants have worked in a variety of settings, including: Red Barn Market; Costa Verde Landscaping; the University of Victoria's Office of Research Services; Peninsula Co-op; Tim Hortons; Old Navy; and several others.CanAssist is very grateful for the financial support it has received and continues to seek long-term funding from government and other sources to expand TeenWork so that program might serve as a model for replication throughout B.C. and, potentially, across Canada.
CanAssist greatly appreciates their contribution: