University of Victoria

Together we CanAssist.

Employer Spotlight: Vancity

For the past four years, Vancity has provided much-needed funding to CanAssist's TeenWork. This year, the credit union also began supporting the unique youth employment program in a whole new way.

In August, Vancity hired a TeenWork participant to fill a part-time administrative position at its Mt. Tolmie branch in Victoria.

“We want our branch to be reflective of the community around us; we learn to work with members of the community,” explained Chris Tilden, community branch manager.

“What I've always been impressed about with CanAssist is their focus on the possibilities of their clients, rather than the limitations. As a service provider, they are constantly looking for ways to provide as much independence in their clients lives and TeenWork is an example of this.”

Chris Tilden, Brooke Parlby, Tricia and Job Coach Annie Do.Vancity has provided funding for various CanAssist projects since 2011. In recent years, the credit union has focused its support on TeenWork.

Vancity has a vision of redefining wealth by furthering the financial, social and environmental well-being of its members and community. An example of this vision is a program launched this year called the Workplace Inclusion Pilot (WIN). WIN seeks to develop an inclusive culture and ensure that its workforce mirrors the diversity found within its communities so it can better serve its members.

Under Tilden's leadership, the Mt. Tolmie branch carved out a position that provides part-time employment for a local teen, while also benefitting Vancity staff by enabling them to focus on their core duties rather than on miscellaneous administrative tasks they often have to scramble to finish.

Tricia became a TeenWork participant in the spring of 2016 during her final year in high school. Her thoughtfulness and respect and a supportive team environment made her a great candidate for Vancity's administrative position. Her duties include building new member packages, filing business and personal financial documents, scanning cheques, counting coins and ensuring that the space is tidy and welcoming.

Like all TeenWork participants, Tricia is receiving non-time-limited, on-site job coaching. This personalized support has helped the teen strengthen her ability to prioritize tasks, and guide her through step-by-step processes to ensure her success in completing tasks.

“TeenWork's support has been an invaluable part in walking this process for the first time,” says Tilden. “From an employer perspective, the partnership has allowed us to work extensively to uncover obstacles and challenges from the start, which has helped the candidate be successful in her role.”

For CanAssist, the partnership with Vancity has been equally rewarding.

Tricia and Chris at Vancity's Mt. Tolmie Branch..“Not only has Vancity generously supported several TeenWork youth through community grants over the past five years, but now, through the workplace inclusion pilot, they are further demonstrating their commitment to inclusive employment opportunities and acting as a leader for other organizations in our community,” said TeenWork Manager Brooke Parlby.

Tricia, who has now been working at Vancity for three months, says that the warm and welcoming support of Vancity staff have been instrumental in improving her work performance and self-image.

“My experience with Vancity is amazing!” says the 19-year-old. “The first time I worked at Vancity, I was really nervous because I didn't know if the people were nice and friendly.

“People were so welcoming and very friendly. Working at Vancity has changed me because it's made me more independent and confident.”

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