September is Disability Employment Month

KES would like to highlight businesses and individuals who have benefited from utilizing the diverse services at Kootenay Employment Services. Over the month of September, we will be posting various articles and interviews to illustrate how Customized Employment Solutions  can make a difference in our community. Our first article was submitted by Frances Collison, a new employee at Gin’s Restaurant on Canyon.


September 2, 2015
by Frances Collison

Working At Gin’s: An Employee’s Point of View

Frances At Work

Frances At Work

My name is Frances Collison and I am 19 years old.  I am a local employee at Gin’s on Canyon.  Though I have Down Syndrome, I was able to find employment through Kootenay Employment Services with their Customized Employment program.  When the boss of Gin’s On Canyon, Virginia Bergman, met me during our short interview she hired me straight away.  Working at Gin’s means I have to be on my feet all day long, while working at a fast pace.  I love working at Gin’s.  People there are very kind and respectful towards me. The hardest part is lifting heavy trays of plates and cups.  I am working at it though. I have improved a lot from when I started in April.  I work at least three hours a day.  I start my shift at 11:00 am and finish at 2:00 pm.  I had two different job coaches who have helped me at work.

KES has a program for people with disabilities to have a job coach and wage subsidy while they are learning the new skills of the job.

“Working at Gin’s is fun and rewarding”

Frances and Virginia

Working at Gin’s has taught me many new skills like washing windows, clearing and cleaning tables, doing the bathrooms, polishing cutlery and even taking the drink orders.  Soon I will be working all by myself. My hard work will pay off by being able to buy things I want, like a convertible! My work at Gin’s has brought me tips and being noticed for my hard work.

I hope to learn new skills like working with money and being a full waitress, but for now I am very happy and enjoy my days at Gin’s.  I thank Gin and KES for this opportunity to work in my community.  Being employed, to me, means gaining skills for future jobs and this makes my life more successful.  Hard work always pays off in the end!

Current Duties:

Refresh Bathrooms

Wipe Doors

Fill Ice bucket

Clean/Clear Tables

Prepare Water tray

Remove Creamers

Prepare Cutlery

Setting Up for Special events:

Rotary Club

Church gatherings