Saskatchewan Abilities Council




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Opening New Doors

Many new doors have opened in Kristie McCuaig’s life since she and her mom moved to Swift Current in 2011.

She began by upgrading her classes at Swift Current Comprehensive High School, with the goal of attending Great Plains College. She also began developing her work skills through Partners in Employment, starting with an employment preparation program. Kristie quickly proved her commitment, arriving on time every day, eager to learn. And she wasn’t afraid to ask questions if she was unsure about anything—an important work skill.

Kristie carried this positive attitude into her first work experience in the high school library. It was a great fit, because Kristie loves to read—she’s a big fan of the Percy Jackson series. With the support of a job coach, she worked part-time, checking in books, re-sensitizing them, retrieving drop-off books and stamping books for specific classes. The experience was so successful she followed it with a second and longer work experience at the Swift Current Library.

A third work experience in the kitchen of The Bentley Swift Current retirement community involved washing dishes and prepping for meals. Kristie learned new rules and procedures, but more important, she learned to deal with change because the job could not guarantee constant routine. Thanks to great natural supports on the job, the job coach was able to start fading within a month.

After three back-to-back work experiences, Kristie spent a year focussing on her education so she could get into college. She proudly enrolled in Great Plains College in the fall of 2014. She completed CPR/First Aid and driver’s education courses, and has since earned her learner’s license.

In the summer of 2014, Partners in Employment staff met with the manager at Home Inn & Suites to arrange a work experience for Kristie in housekeeping. After submitting a resume, Kristie met with management—and was hired on the spot.

Kristie has been very successful. She hasn’t needed any job coaching, her hours have been increased and her supervisors are very happy with her work. Kristie’s work journey is just beginning, and her positive attitude, great commitment and excellent work skills will continue to open doors to new opportunities.

“The Council helped give me confidence. They helped me get a job and they help me get better at work.”
– Kristie McCuaig, Client, Swift Current Branch


Update - Since this story was written, Kristie was nominated and selected Employee of the Month. She received a plaque, mug and her name on the trophy that stays at the hotel.  We are so proud of her!