Steve Folder is a member of Keremeos’ Community Living Day Program.
The 19 year old has found employment for himself at Keremeos Building Supply, where he puts in a strenuous shift keeping the lumber yard in shape by pulling weeds, picking up staples and performing other tidying chores.
“It’s a fun job,” he said enthusiastically, adding that his fellow employees are a great bunch to be around.
“It’s a really great learning experience,” said Kelly McKay, Coordinator for the Keremeos program. “He gets shown how to do things – if he knows what he’s supposed to do, he has no issues.”
McKay said that Keremeos was exemplary when it came to providing jobs for the special adult group.
“I’m really grateful for the way this town has provided several jobs for these candidates,” she added, “I ran this program for 16 years in Penticton and could never place anyone.”
The Keremeos Day Program recently celebrated five years in the community. Currently, the program has nine participants; the numbers fluctuate as students leave the school system and become eligible.
“We teach independence, work and life skills,” said McKay. “participants also do volunteer work at Orchard Haven, and some walk dogs as a paid job.”
The Keremeos Day Program takes adults 19 years of age and up. Participants are handicapped, an I.Q. of 70 or less is a prerequisite.
Other programs are in the works for The Keremeos Day Program that will be open to everyone, including a Food Safe course and a “gentle yoga” class.
McKay added that Oliver and Osoyoos shared a similar generosity, in that employers were willing to give those in the program “a shot.”
A trip to the lumberyard for a photo op had Steve reveal that the best part of his job was being around the staff. The feeling seemed to be mutual, as Folder greeted everyone with familiar hi fives and greetings.
He also likes the donuts that appear around the lunch room from time to time.
“He’s a good kid,” said Keremeos Building Centre Manager Jake MacDonald.
Folder works one day a week through the summer and is laid off during the winter.
McKay has other members of the program that are capable and ready to work, including Suzie, who is a great housekeeper. She asks that any interested business give her a call at: 250 -499-2388.