Avia offers employment programs for people with disabilities

It's hard enough finding a job when you're able-bodied and skilled. If you’re a person with diverse abilities, or if you have been out of the workforce for a while, it becomes even more difficult. Avia Employment Services, a division of Back in Motion Rehab Inc., offers a no-cost solution.

"As part of the WorkBC program, Avia offers a program called "Customized Employment," says Lonnie Belfer, Industry & Community Liaison Officer with Avia Employment Services. "It's a program that is specifically designed for people with diverse abilities, including physical and developmental disabilities. Clients are paired with an employment specialist who works with them to find an appropriateemploymentposition."

Customized Employment starts with the discovery process, which involves getting to really know the client and discovering their strengths and passions.

"At Avia, we take a couple of months to become familiar with the client." Lonnie explains. "We go to their home, hang out where they do, talk to their family, friends and support network and come away with a sense of who they are, what their strengths may be, and what they're passionate about."

Based on the discovery process, Avia employment specialists come up with two to three job themes, and up to 20 types of positions within each theme.

"That means, at the end of the process," says Lonnie, "we've identified 60 relevant possible positions."

Great. Then what?

"Then, our Avia employment specialist goes knocking on potential employers’ doors. We discuss our client’s skills and strengths, and the benefits to the employer of hiring a person with these attributes.” Lonnie says.

"We also teach employers about job carving," Lonnie explains, "job carving involves helping the employer create a position that they may not have known they needed. For example, a new job could be created by taking small portions of other staff roles, which may lead to an increase in the productivity of the business. Many employers are passionate about offering opportunities to people with diverse abilities, but they need help finessing job descriptions to make that happen."

Avia works with businesses in Richmond to offer loyal, reliable, and hardworking employees. For job seekers, Avia helps them find a meaningful, long-term job.

"And all our services are at no cost to either the business or the job seeker," Lonnie notes. "Our mandate is to provide sustainable employment for all people."

For more information on Avia Employment Services and its services for people with diverse abilities, call 778.732.0285, email, visit the website, or stop by one of the Avia locations at #290 – 3631 No. 3 Road, Richmond, or #110-6651 Elmbridge Way, Richmond. Avia can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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