At posAbilities, the individuals on our team help make the great work we do possible! Each team member contributes their unique skill sets, backgrounds, knowledge, and of course, has a story to tell.

Meet Employment Specialist, Andrea Pacheco!

I’ve been an Employment Specialist for posAbilities Employment Service since 2018. I support individuals with diverse abilities to prepare for, secure and maintain paid employment. We also build connections and partner with employers in a variety of industries. Once someone lands a job, a lot of my time goes into job coaching which is providing 1:1 support in the workplace during the first few weeks of their job. We also offer continuous support, so if someone is given a new task or has to be re-trained, we’re always involved with that process, as well as maintaining close contact with their employers.

What led me to this position goes back to when I was a child. My parents immigrated to Canada when I was 11 years old. I saw how they struggled as a young couple with children, getting used to the ways of life in Canada, especially with work. My parents received assistance from the government to go to programs to support newcomers to Canada and that’s the line of work I wanted to pursue. I went to Langara College and enrolled in their Career Development Practitioner Program. I then started working as a Labour Market Specialist for S.U.C.C.E.S.S and from there, I became an Employment Specialist for Newcomers to Canada. I also had experience working as a nurse’s aid and as a youth respite worker.

After my experience in those roles, I was job searching and found posAbilities. When I went in for the interview, I was asked why I was interested in this job. With my previous work experience and my passion for helping people, it all just came together for me. I knew that this position would be the right fit.

My time here has been wonderful – it’s very meaningful employment. It’s rewarding when I get to support someone, especially when they have faced a fear or developed a particular skill to help them land a job. Those moments mean so much to me.

I’m happy when we receive such positive feedback from employers, but it can still be difficult making those initial connections. It can be a challenge sometimes explaining what we do and assuring them that we have excellent candidates for the job that they want to fill. But we have many employers who are supportive of the work we do and have wonderful things to say about our services and the individuals they get to work with. They realize the importance of an inclusive environment with diverse teams and creating opportunities for people who want to work.

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Photos by Maxine Tamoto, Malumi Photography –