Career Development Top Achievement Awards 2022

Career Development Awards  are the celebration of the amazing work and contribution our career development practitioners and agencies do and provide to their clients and communities they serve.

Career Practitioner of the Year 2022

Dr Candy Ho (Candy) is recognized as an expert in the Career Development Field internationally and is an inspiration to others working in the field.

Candy has accomplished a remarkable amount in her relatively short time in the field. She is an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University as well at Douglas College. She has utilized traditional career development strategies to develop essential transition courses that are customized for learners of all backgrounds and abilities. Candy’s Doctoral dissertation laid the groundwork for the concept of ‘career influencers’ that create a broad career support network including instructors, academic advisors, co-op employers and others rather than relying only on a career centre for that important guidance.

Candy is the Vice Chair of CERIC and in that role communicates the importance of career development in Canada with many media resources. She is in demand as a conference speaker across Canada and in Australia.

The foundational piece of Dr. Ho’s practice is that it is based in a focus on social justice and she stated “career guidance calls for people and societies to do and be better in addressing issues in equity, access and wellbeing”. Through this philosophy Candy has gained attention with her unique approach to leveraging the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework to help students consider their purpose and how it aligns with their career aspirations.

Far from the least of Candy’s accomplishments, she is a first generation Asian-Canadian woman who holds a doctoral degree and as such is an inspiration to those who may follow.

Emerging Career Practitioner of the Year Award 

Michael Partridge completed the Life Strategies Career Management Professional Program in 2018 and immediately became involved the in industry through his work at Juvenation Wellness in Duncan. In that role, Michael has been involved in the development of several innovative projects supporting career development of diverse populations such as Indigenous and LGBTQ persons.

Michael is a member of the BCCDA board of directors and he brings a fresh perspective to his work with the organization and has brought the voice and concerns of new emerging Career Practitioners to the discussions.

In collaboration with Life Strategies, Michael co-developed a four week virtual workshop on Career Recovery after the pandemic related shifts in labour market opportunities and work environment realities. Through his work at Juvenation, Michael also has developed group workshops for Indigenous Adults enrolled in Cowichan Tribes pre-employment programs. His work with individuals includes helping clients develop a social media presence in order to enhance their presentation to employers.

Recently Michael has authored a chapter in Career Development for Diverse Clients: Beyond the Basics focused on supporting CDPs to work more effectively with the LGBTQ2IA+ community.

Because Michael brings an eclectic life/work experience to his role as a CDP in addition to his training in the field he has been able to develop strong relationships with sometimes marginalized clients and is able to instill hope and inspiration for a positive future.

Career Development Agency of the Year Award 

Kinghaven Peardonville House Society has supported men and women who present with problematic use of mood-altering substances for over 49 years in the Fraser Valley.

Over the years, they have discovered the need for this population to succeed in integrating back into society. The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) addresses barriers prohibiting individuals with substance use disorder from entry or re-entry into the labour market post-treatment. The ERP gives each client the necessary tools to enhance their success upon leaving residential treatment. The ERP started as a pilot project in 2015 to provide employment support to individuals in residential treatment. It began with one staff and was only being offered at the men's treatment centre. It now employs 6 FT Wellness Navigators working out of four different sites and is going into its 7th year of providing employment services and support to marginalized and vulnerable SOV and substance use disorder.

The Employment Readiness Program has also expanded to the community by offering a Construction Training PBLMT for Male Survivors of Violence (SOV). This PBLMT was the first that the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction approved funding for male survivors of violence.

81% of the women from Peardonville and 71% of the men at Kinghaven remained engaged with the ERP worker at the 4, 12 and 24-week post-discharge benchmarks.

ERP workers have created a warm referral process with WorkBC offices across the province to provide ERP clients with specialized assessments, clinical counselling and skills training to assist the client with finding and maintaining sustainable employment.

Employer Partnership of the Year Award 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) offers academic, cultural, and social environments that inspire relevant real-world training. VCC is proud to inspire a new generation of students to discover their passions, gain essential skills, and learn what it takes to succeed in a competitive workforce. With over 15,000 students, including a growing number of Aboriginal and International learners, 1,100 employees, VCC is a key player in the post-secondary landscape in B.C. VCC connections to industry ensure that all students have direct access to employers while their model of access and partnerships across the post-secondary sector assist students to reach their goals at any stage of their educational journey.

This award is given based on the close and sustainable partnership between Vancouver Community College (VCC) and Vancouver School Board (VSB). For over a decade, VSB has provided practicum opportunities to VCC students in the Building Service Worker (BSW) Training Program to gain valuable and authentic work experience. This partnership has been driven by passionate VCC career educators and VSB managers/staff to ensure that the practicum experience was of the highest quality. The training, coaching, and supervision by VSB building managers/staff has had a significant impact on students' learning experiences as well as professional and personal growth. In the past 3 years, over 80 BSW students were placed at VSB and 21 were hired after they have completed the work experience. This is a solid proof that this partnership generated positive employment outcomes. The Vancouver School District (#39) and VCC are both located in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

VCC values

VCC commitment to diversity, accessibility, quality, and relevance makes VCC a unique and exciting place to study.

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