Parking Lot Conversation Leads to Meaningful Employment
It’s not every day that a chance meeting with a friend in a parking lot can turn into meaningful employment but that’s exactly what happened when Courtney ran into her friend Cory late last year.
The two friends got to know each other while working for a local fast food restaurant. Cory left that job to begin working for Communitas Supportive Care Society in 2014 as a Residential Support Worker (RSW). For more than 40 years, Communitas has supported people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges through residential homes – like the one at which Cory and Courtney work – as well as through day programs. On Vancouver Island, Communitas’ services are concentrated in the Campbell River/Courtenay area. Cory originally applied for a reception job in the Campbell River head office but when she learned of the RSW position, she applied for that instead.
“I heard that there was a position available and I jumped at the opportunity because I enjoy caring for people,” she says.
Courtney’s career path had taken a slightly different route. She had applied and was accepted into the Health Care Assistant program at North Island College. She knew that she wanted to do that type of work but didn’t know how to go about applying for jobs in the field.
When the two friends met up in the parking lot of a drugstore, they began chatting about what they each had been doing since their paths had parted. Cory began telling Courtney about how much she loved her work at Communitas.
“I told Courtney about the residence that I work in and that Anna, our manager, was a wonderful person to work for. I encouraged her to apply,” Cory says.
Courtney did just that and has been working at the same residence since last fall. The two friends love their jobs and the organization they work for.
“Communitas is a very understanding and respectful place to be employed,” Cory says. “Supporting the people we serve is very rewarding work.”
Courtney agrees, adding that Communitas truly lives out its mission.
“The Communitas mission of being ‘a place of belonging, growth and contribution’ doesn’t just apply to the people it serves but the people it employs,” she says. “Communitas treats its employees extremely well because they know that the face of the company is the relationships between its staff and clients.”
Courtney appreciates the way that Communitas empowers the staff to do their work well by ensuring they have the resources to go the extra mile. Being able to enrich the life of another person in turn enriches your own life, she says and creates strong bonds between the staff and the residents.
“It’s a joy for me to step into my program and to know that I am a part of something that does so much good in the community.”