Program lifts Lumby

The self employment program is helping entrepreneurial spirit flourish in Lumby and Cherryville.

The self employment program is helping entrepreneurial spirit flourish in Lumby and Cherryville.

The provincially funded program helps artisans, farm growers, shop owners and other business operators retain their independence and the satisfaction of earning their own keep.

“Being your own boss has enormous benefits and if it wasn’t for being referred to the self employment program, I wouldn’t have known which direction to go,” said Don Fortin of DWF Gallery Hardwood Designs.

“I was a supervisor at the Lavington glass plant and was one of the 300-plus people who lost their jobs due to the plant shut down.”

After talking to a case manager at the Lumby Employment Centre, Fortin enrolled in the program and gained business skills training and expert one-to-one coaching and support. It comes at no cost for eligible entrepreneurs.

“They were a huge help. I couldn’t thank them enough. They made me feel comfortable in my unfortunate situation of unexpected unemployment,” added Fortin, now in business for more than two years.

“With the support of the program, I was able to focus on my business armed with a proper business plan and a better understanding of what I was up against as a business owner.”

Whether affected by job loss, looking for a first job, or researching a career change, the Lumby centre offers a valuable range of employment information.

“Many people who visit the centre are surprised to realize just how many programs are available here,” said Bruce Nelson, centre manager.

“Not only can you enjoy the benefits of living in a rural community, you also have an employment centre that offers direct access to quality programs and job search services.”

Since 2003, the self employment program has helped more than 250 entrepreneurs in the North Okanagan with launching a new business.

For more information, visit the Lumby Employment Centre at 1965 Shuswap Avenue, or phone 250-547-8767.

Open hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also access online information at www.lumbyemployment.ca.