DEAM Success Story: Paul’s Career Journey


Paul came to Vecova in the early 90’s after working for Calgary Cable for many years. Paul was refurbishing Cable set top boxes and with the sale of Calgary Cable to Shaw Communications, and the set top boxes becoming obsolete, Paul lost his job.

With support from Vecova, over the next few years Paul was employed by computer recycling companies but unfortunately these jobs were never very long lived. Eventually a job was found for Paul at a stair building company called Timbertech Stairs. At this job, Paul excelled at cutting the wooden wedges used to tighten and straighten the stairs on the bandsaw. Unfortunately, an economic downturn saw the company close its doors and again Paul was unemployed.

Eventually, Paul noticed an ad in a newspaper from Calgary Handibus Association, looking for a lot person to drive the Handibuses through their bus wash and generally clean inside and out. Paul applied for the job; with his resume in hand, by himself. Paul let his new supervisors know he was involved with and receiving support from Vecova and started a very successful couple of years working for Calgary Handibus as the newest member of the Amalgamated Transit Union. In those two years Paul never damaged a bus while driving in the lot or through the wash. Paul’s confidence and skill level increased through this period. Bus drivers were also very impressed with how clean the buses were.

Eventually Paul grew tired of his job and wanted something new to do. Paul really felt he was good at operating machinery and spoke fondly of operating the band saw at Timbertech.

Coincidentally, a company called Kingsdown Mattresses contacted Vecova with hopes of diversifying their workforce and looking to hire a person with disabilities into a position in their factory. Duties for the job they had created included keeping their new plant at a high level of cleanliness and operating the occasional piece of machinery on the production line as skills and ability permitted. Paul was immediately put forward as a possible candidate and accompanied to an interview. Paul took over the interview and negotiated his hours of work and his pay, and accepted the job in April of 2015. Paul started out with full support from Vecova but as his skill level and confidence increased, the support has been faded out to twice weekly employer liaisons. Paul proudly shows his skills as he confidently operates the bolster air hole drilling machine, keeping track of the amounts and different sizes the production line needs.

A smiling Paul will agree that he is very happy at his work and is proud of his independence.


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