Innovative Pathways Program Carves Out New Opportunities For Businesses & Students

Our Thompson Supported Employment Program’s (TSEP) innovative Pathways Program was developed out of the need to bridge the gaps in transition to adulthood for students with barriers to employment.

We recognized gaps where youth transitioning to adulthood that have intellectual and/or learning disabilities did not always meet eligibility criteria for Community Living Disability Services (CLDS). Therefore, a proposal was sent to the School District of Mystery Lake in May of 2016. TSEP proposed a partnership and pilot program with the School District to provide off campus assessment, pre-employment skills programing and the opportunity for unpaid work experience with local employer partners for Pathways Students in their final year of high school.

The School District was interested to partner and in September of 2016 the TSEP-Pathways Program began. The program was very successful and in 2017/18, TSEP was able to secure funding from Manitoba Education & Training. This enhanced the program and also included paid training and on the job opportunities for students. We continued to receive funding in the 2018/19 school year and currently have 11 students accessing the program with four progressive employer partners. These include Riverview Restaurant, The Boreal Discovery Centre, Canadian Tire, and the Northern Inn & Steak House. All of these businesses understand that diversity in the workplace benefits everyone and we thank you for partnering with us.

Employer & Student Testimonials

Natalie Lagace Sr. Job Coach at Boreal Discovery Centre

“We enjoy having Alexander as part of our team. We've exposed him to everything from the care required for a multi-tank sturgeon ecosystem to the task of cleaning toilets. We try to teach him about the importance of the mundane tasks and emphasize making good impressions when interacting with visitors. We also learn from him as he brings his own experiences into the conversation. He is a willing worker who always shows up on time and we hope his experience with us helps him in his future endeavours.” Boreal Discovery Centre

Tim Preston and Quentin at Canadian Tire

“We have truly enjoyed our experience with the Pathway Students. I couldn’t say enough good things about them. They show up prepared and on-time everyday ready to work. They picked up immediately on day-to-day responsibilities and needed little direction once they learned their position. Each of them had such positive attitudes, making them all enjoyable to be around and work with. Their customer service skills shined as they helped our customers navigate the store to find what they were looking for. Thank you to the three students that worked so hard in our store. From an administrative point of view, TSEP were great to partner with as each and every employee made the partnership a very enjoyable experience. They were organized and had all the required documents completed and ready before the students start date. All in all, this is a great program and beneficial for all parties.” – Canadian Tire

"I didn’t mind working there and enjoyed it. I liked helping customers find items they were looking for.” Tim (student) at Canadian Tire

Skyler in front of Riverview Restaurant

“I have been getting better at organizing the dishes and doing them faster.” Skylar (student) working at Riverview Restaurant

“I like that I am learning how to cut up vegetables, they need to be cut up in a different way for the different dishes.” Juliana, kitchen helper at Northern Inn & Steak House.