WorkBC helps Okanagan amputees on the long road to self-employment

Ten kilometers down Westside Road in Vernon, Sylvan Baril’s handcrafted wooden works are on display during the summer. So is his indomitable drive to become a successful self-employed woodworker.

Baril is no stranger to overcoming challenges. Twenty-two years ago, he lost a leg in a DUI on the West Side.

Baril began learning how to make wood furniture when he was 16 and has since handcrafted his own prosthetic sockets, better than many professionally made sockets he’s had over the years. .

“It’s something I can do with my own hands,” he said.

She is good at disassembling old wooden furniture, recreating missing parts, and reassembling them.

“I like to restore old antiques… I also do home remodeling.

Baril, now in her 50s, is taking steps to turn her skills into a profitable self-employment with the help of WorkBC employment advisors Celena Sandaker and Jerry Ward.

It started with a visit by Sundayker and Ward to Barril’s mansion. The school bus he made into a comfortable home has a seating area, wood stove, loft bed, kitchenette, bathroom, and washer and dryer setup. Painted in clean white and blue, the exterior of the bus is also equipped with solar panels, making the home completely self-contained and off-grid.

Sundayker says seeing how he modified his bus reminded him of MacGyver.

“He told us about his talent, and it wasn’t just his woodworking skills, but all the other skills he has, and when you look at the bus and all the things he’s done, it’s It becomes more when you can see it,” said Sundayker. “And I’ve never seen anyone so determined.”

Some of Baril’s flower boxes were previously on display at Vernon’s supply store Briteland. Most recently, they custom-made a picnic table for a happy customer.

“As soon as we got to see some of his products, we felt that these were products he could sell,” added Ward.

The WorkBC Advisor is ideally self-employed because Baril’s disability requires a modified woodworking work station that allows him to sit, take frequent breaks at various intervals, and take short breaks. It helped me determine that it was root. Likewise, he finds it difficult to go to work and some days he is in so much pain that it just doesn’t mesh well with his 9-5 job.

“He gets tired a little more often, so he’s working for himself so he can take a break,” Ward said.

Since becoming a WorkBC client, Baril says he is “very happy with where we are now.” Baril has been with Case Managed Services and the main focus of his services he has been on Discovery / Customized Employment. This service focuses on the client’s potential labor market contribution through an individualized, strengths-based and qualitative assessment.

To achieve his ultimate goal, he needs the right workspace. He works outdoors and the weather often distorts the material.

“This is outside, so I can’t do any finishing touches.

Vernon residents who have or know Baril’s indoor workspace can leave him a message through the Vernon WorkBC Center at

hiring vernon

WorkBC helps Okanagan amputees on the long road to self-employment

Source link WorkBC helps Okanagan amputees on the long road to self-employment

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