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Work inclusion program employs people with disabilities

Vancity employee earns award

April 7, 2016, Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – One of the first employees in Vancity’s new work inclusion program will receive the Outstanding Employee Award from the Disability Alliance of BC at its annual Swing Into Spring gala, tonight.

Aaron Lee, an administrative assistant at Vancity’s community branch in Port Coquitlam, was nominated by his colleague Kathryn Hansen for his diligence and upbeat attitude. Lee says he feels confident about the work he is doing and is pleased to have a permanent job with the local credit union.

Since the program’s inception in 2015, 15 people have been employed by Vancity in administrative support roles and in information technology, both at its head office and in branches in Vancouver, Victoria, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby and Richmond.

There are about 334,000 British Columbians aged 15 to 64 that self-identify as having a disability. Vancity says hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense and supports its vision of an inclusive workplace. The Ministry of Employment and Social Development reports that 90 per cent of employees with disabilities rated average or better in job performance, and have better attendance records compared with employees without disabilities.

Vancity’s workplace inclusion program seeks to develop an inclusive culture that features an empathetic manager, a mentor and an on-site job coach from a community partner for as long as the employee needs it. Community partners identify their clients’ skills and abilities and recommend them as potential candidates. Vancity then matches those skills and abilities with opportunities for meaningful work. Community partners include:

  • posAbilities - Vancouver
  • Community Integration Services Society – Coquitlam
  • Langley Association for Community Living
  • Avia – Port Coquitlam and Burnaby
  • Community Living BC – New Westminster
  • Surrey Association for Community Living
  • Focus Professional Services - Vancouver


“Our employees reflect who we are as well as our values. We want our employees to mirror the faces of the communities we serve. This new program benefits everyone involved.” Ellen Pekeles, senior vice-president of operations at Vancity
“We’re proud of organizations like Vancity that demonstrate their commitment to hiring people with disabilities. We need more employers to get involved to make sure British Columbians with disabilities have the chance to enter and stay in the workforce.” Jane Dyson, executive director of the Disability Alliance of BC

Additional information

About Vancity

Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 519,000 member-owners and their communities in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, with 59 branches in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay. As Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity uses its $19.8 billion in assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

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For more information:

Lorraine Wilson | Vancity
T: 778-837-0394


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