Employment service helps her diversify at work
Deb Bartlett

Jennifer Barrette Green has secured a second part-time job that’s helping her pay bills for camp and Special Olympics, clothes and haircuts.

She’s worked with employment specialist Seema Tripathi, a posAbilities employment specialist since March, when the employment service started.

“She was one of our first clients,” says Seema. 

Jen was working as a kennel assistant at an animal hospital, but wanted to diversify and do something more.

A posAbilities employment service success story, “Jen is now gainfully employed as a café attendant at Starbucks,” says Seema. “She always wanted to do work with customers, and always used to talk about Starbucks.”

Jen and Starbucks are a great fit, says Seema.

“She has a very supportive employer. He’s an awesome person,” she says, adding Jen is truly enjoying her work and is completely competent in her work environment.

Jen, whose friends call her Jen BG, works two shifts a week at Starbucks at Granville Island. She cleans tables, counters and washrooms, sweeps, dusts and takes out garbage. Clearly an animal lover, Jen’s favourite part of her new job is seeing dogs with their owners.

Seema says she’s been encouraging Jen to interact with customers at Starbucks, making small talk about their coffee and their day.

“She’s a regular face there . . . . She’s conversing with customers, she’s out on the patio. It sort of gives a warm feeling to the whole store.”

She’s learned about proper storage of products, and garbage disposal, and says her future work plans are “to make teas and smoothies for everyone in Vancouver.”

Jen has been able to keep her first job, which is one of the accommodations Seema was able to set up. Keeping Jen’s one-day-a-week job at an animal hospital was important to her. At the animal hospital, she cleans windows and bathrooms, dusts kennels and shelves, takes out garbage and recycling, and washes and puts away laundry.

Jen likes working with the animals, but also enjoys interacting with staff members “joking around at break time.”

Since she started working at the animal hospital, she’s learned about “putting numbers on cards and x-ray files, making notepads and ID tags, and dusting the top of windows.”

Jen’s future plans at the hospital are to feed and give water to the animals, and walk them in the backyard.

If you have an employment services success story to share, contact Deb in the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deb(at)axiomnews.ca.