Curtis Sheena cleans up at WestWinn Group Harbercraft

Employer takes top award

Vernon and District Association for Community Living

The right employee in the right job at the right time makes everyone happy. That’s what happened at WestWinn Group which builds Harbercraft boats when the company cooperated with Vernon and District Association for Community Living (VDACL) to place two Venture Training clients in jobs at the plant.

WestWinn Group was the recipient of the VCDAL Employer of the Year Award presented at the annual barbecue hosted by Silver Star Rotary.

“We had Venture Training crews doing our yard work and it worked out well,” said Mike Clements, production manager for WestWinn Group. “I had been thinking we might have a place in our production crew for some people from Venture Training and it turned out to be a perfect match. The guys did training here with us and they fit in well with our crew and are doing a fantastic job helping to keep the shop clean and everyone is happy. We’re proud of the award.”

Clements led a tour of the facility which produces aluminum boats, from the sheets of metal to the completely finished product, and sells them all over North America and Europe. Harbercraft boats have been in production since 1952 and the plant has been in Vernon since 1972, in the present plant for two years.

“I like everything here. I like the crew and it’s a good job,” said Curtis Sheena, who had done yard work for WestWinn and has been working in the plant for a year and a half.

VDACL vocational counselor Ben Braun thanked all the local employers who make the job program work for their businesses and the Venture Training clients.

“The employer gets a quality employee who wants to work and who is excited to be there. Working gives the clients a meaningful place in the community and a sense of pride and place. It’s important to be able to have your own job and your own income,” he said.

There are about 20 Venture Training clients working in various jobs in the community.

The VDCAL employment program, thrift store and a used book store will be moving to a downtown location later this fall. To make donations of thrift store items or books, call 250-542-2374.


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