Miracles happen when you believe...
To understand how incredible my WorkBC Employment Councilor Rosita Bernardo performed one must first put my case in context. On March 16, 2023 I attended a Job Fair in Surrey. Although I was there to find a job, I became interested in the manufacturing program offered by the Northwest Skills Institute. I intended to take this course, but the leader of the organization recommended the Print Entry Level Training Program instead, based on my past experience running large format Digital Printers. However, it wasn’t until the middle of May that I was told that the PELTP now had enough students to begin the program. The start date was to be May 29, 2023.
By then, I was trying to apply for financial assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. My worry was that if I took the PELTP I would not be eligible to receive welfare payments. Michael, the person responsible for determining my eligibility for financial assistance said that I must go through WorkBC, otherwise the provincial government would not provide welfare payments to me.
Because of the large backlog of new cases at WorkBC Centre Whalley, I could not schedule my first meeting with an Employment Counsellor until May 29, 2023. How could I go to both appointments?
Thankfully, the start of the PELTP was pushed to June 5, 2023, so I went to see Rosita who had been assigned my case. I was under a great deal of pressure to get approved for financial assistance BEFORE the PELTP began. Once I began, I did not want to miss a class and have the Ministry conclude that I was not serious about taking the course which would mean no financial assistance and no re-training course!
Rosita understood the situation immediately and jumped into action. She not only contacted the Ministry to say that I was enrolled in a course recognized by WorkBC but it was now part of my Employment Plan that she had just drawn up! Within days I received confirmation from the Ministry that not only would I be receiving financial assistance, but that this would not be cancelled when I began PELTP.
The Northwest Skills Institute is located in East Vancouver and I live in Surrey. Since my money was running out, I barely had money to buy a transit pass, much less a transit pass for travel through three zones.
Once again Rosita somehow moved heaven and earth so that I had enough transit passes to get me to the location of training program but also home again for the first week of PELTP. After the first week, the Northwest Skills Institute provided students of PELTP with transit passes for the following week.
In other words, without Rosita’s knowledge, fast pace and commitment to solving impediments to my intent to be retained in the printing industry, I would still be on welfare.
Currently, I am about to begin my fifth week of the eleven-week course. My intention is to find employment within the printing industry. From what I’ve learned in PELTP and people I’ve met employed by the printing industry, I feel more confident than ever that the result of this training will lead to full-time, permanent employment. I owe a great deal to WorkBC and my Counsellor Rosita’s help.