On a rainy Tuesday evening, Manal Nour, our employment counselor, received a heartwarming email from Abdulrazaq, a participant of our very first Refugee Training and Employment Program (RTEP). A new-comer to Canada from Syria, Abdulrazaq did not have any Canadian work experience or English language skills to help him transition into a fulfilling career that he wanted. Motivated to find work, Abdulrazaq joined our RTEP program with hopes of becoming a contractor in BC. He had his eyes on the contractor program at Home Depot, as it offers an extensive network of trusted professional service providers through a referral program. In order to become a contractor at Home Depot, you are required to prepare everything from a company insurance policy to trade licenses to a commercial auto insurance. This was no easy task for someone with zero English knowledge, and no Canadian work experience.
Upon completion of the program, our program coordinator was able to match his skills and abilities at a local flooring company. Working at the flooring company for at least one year is vital for Abdulrazaq to gain the experience and language skills that are needed for him to take steps to becoming an authorized service provider for Home Depot.
Being a motivated entrepreneur, Abdulrazaq left his job with the local flooring company after only 3 months into the job to pursue a contracting business of his own. Unfortunately, this venture did not work out for him. There were personal challenges as well as marketplace pressures that proved to be overwhelming. After thousands of dollars lost and time wasted, feeling defeated, Abdulrazaq came back to the BC Alliance for Manufacturing seeking assistance and advice.
Luckily, our team was able to place him with another flooring company, where Abdulrazaq promised to follow through with his original plan. Dedicate to his success, our team was able to identify his strengths and ability to match him with a more compatible workplace and position, where he found success. With this new company, he was not only able to improve his English skills at a remarkable rate, but also obtain valuable work experience that launched him on the trajectory of his dream job. Soon after completing a one-year work term with the flooring company, Abdulrazaq successfully applied to Home Depot as a contractor. He is now successfully operating as a flooring installer with Advance Flooring Inc. in Coquitlam.
In his heartfelt letter to our employment counselor, he thanked everyone at the BC Alliance for Manufacturing for encouraging him, remaining patient with him, and providing him with the stepping stone to help him achieve his dream of becoming a contractor for Home Depot. Abudlrazaq noted that everyone on the BCAFAM team is “very caring”, and genuinely supported his path to success. At the Alliance, we are dedicated to the success of each of our program participants. We are always delighted to receive these stories – to know that the BCAFM made a difference in the lives of people in need, and contributed to painting a brand new image to the manufacturing sector. Finding a job in a brand new country isn’t easy. Having a team that is devoted to your success is helpful and comforting, to say the least.