Supported Employment for Kamloops Residents with Developmental Disabilities
SMART Options offers supported employment for both youth and adults with developmental disabilities. We help individuals with diverse abilities find and keep meaningful and rewarding paid employment in Kamloops.
At SMART Options, we are passionate about inclusion and advocacy for those with diverse abilities. You deserve to contribute to the community in a meaningful way while earning a fair income for the work that you do—and we’re here to help make that a reality!
We work closely with job seekers and employers to find the perfect match, and are here to support you every step of the way.
Meet a few of the amazing Kamloops residents we’ve had the pleasure of working with!
Kalei is a Cashier at Cain's Your Independent Grocer.
“I am really good at communicating with people and making conversation. I used to be shy and now I am very chatty and not shy much anymore. My favourite part of my job is working with people. I can make people happy and help them to have a good day.”
Dean is a seasonal worker at Thistle Farms.
“I like working, I see my friends, I can have coffee break at work. I like pulling weeds, I like picking vegetables. I like working because it means on Wednesday when I go bowling I can bring money."
Jessica is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Program.
"I want to inspire people to change the world. I want to be that someone who lights up someone else’s path and helps them. If you believe in yourself, you can go further than you might have thought. I am proud to make a difference in other people lives."
Supported Employment Process for Adults
Interested in becoming a Kamloops job seeker with SMART Options Supported Employment Services? Here is the process.
Step 1: Referral
In order to work with you, we must get a referral from Community Living BC (CLBC) if you are an adult (19+ yrs) or from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) if you are a youth (15-18 yrs). If you are already connected to CLBC or MCFD, you can contact your worker directly and ask to be referred. If you are not yet connected to these services, you can call one of the numbers listed below to get connected.
CLBC: (250) 377–4444 MCFD: (250) 371–3684
Step 2: Intake Interview
Once we receive your referral, an employment counsellor will contact you or your guardian and set up an intake interview. During this meeting, we will complete some paperwork, and get to know you and your interests.
Some job seekers may also complete a PATH with SMART Options. PATH is a graphic planning process that is used to help individuals develop a big picture plan to achieve their hopes, dreams, and goals.
Step 3: Job Search
Once we know your employment interests and goals, we can start your Kamloops job search. Our goal is to find a job that matches your skills and abilities and that you enjoy doing. We can help you connect with employers and job opportunities, assist with interview preparation, resume writing, online applications and more!
Step 4: Job Coaching and Continued Support
Once you have a job, SMART Options will provide a job coach to help you learn your job duties and provide on-the-job support. Our goal is that you will become independent on the job over time. However, we will stay in close contact with you and your employer to provide support, when needed, to ensure ongoing job success.
Pat is the head dishwasher at Bright Eye Brewing and works full-time.
“It’s not for everyone, washing dishes but I’m a good worker and the best dishwasher. I love the workers I work with and I like making money. I want to buy an apartment one day, so I have to pay my mortgage somehow right."
Dawn is self-employed as a house cleaner. She has been working with SMART Options for over 20 years in various office and house cleaning jobs.
“I love SMART Options. I am glad that they can help get me jobs. I am a real good cleaner, I take a lot of pride in my work. People appreciate me. I am really honoured and appreciate the money I make."
Shinji is part of our youth program and is still in high school. He works at FreshCo.
“FreshCo is a fun friendly work environment. I enjoy working in the community, I have lots of fun at FreshCo, and I have made friends. SMART Options job coaches helped me to learn my job tasks better."
Supported Employment Process for Youths
If you are a youth and want some pre-employment training, you can join our Job Club program.
Job Club is a pre-employment training program for youth in Kamloops (ages 15-18) and is designed to help prepare youth with developmental disabilities for a paid job.
The program is held after school (3:30–5:00 pm) once a week (for 12 weeks) at the SMART Options office. We offer this program twice per year.
Some topics covered in Job Club include:
goal setting and discovery,
communication and listening skills,
safety on the job, and
a workplace field trip!
Once the program is completed, the individual should have a clear idea of places they want to apply, a resume, and interview skills, so they are prepared for our next step of job searching!
Tayrn has been working with SMART Options for over 20 years. He cleans the North shore sidewalks, bus exchange, the Blazers office and dressing room, EMCO, and is a private house cleaner as well.
"I am good at my job and I can concentrate at my work. I like to get things straightened up. I am proud of my work, and I can do the job right and get it straight and people say I am doing a great job."
Paul has been a street cleaner for over 20 years through a contract with the City of Kamloops and SMART Options.
"I love my job. I like talking to people and people thank me for doing my job and keeping the streets clean.”
Megan has been a product demonstrator at Costco for 11 years.
"Having a job keeps me going and gives me independence. My favourite part is the people that I work with and they are really friendly. I am independent, a hard worker, on time, and I do a good job."