Nelson—Sindy Stringer finally knows what she wants to be when she grows up, thanks to an employment program offered by Kootenay Career Development Society.

Sindy took the RAFT program—short for Retail, Accommodation, Food Service and Tourism, in fall 2019. Today, she is living her dream as a cannabis consultant supervisor in Castlegar.

Salmo resident Sindy had to abandon her long and successful career as the owner of a dog grooming business due to health issues.

Being out of work “was overwhelming and depressing,” for her. As an older worker living in a rural and remote community, Sindy didn’t know what to do next.

Then she heard about the RAFT program from a friend.

The free five-week program brought Sindy together with other job seekers, where they were guided through career and self-exploration.

“The group was encouraging; I got the courage to get out there and look for work,” reflects Sindy. “We also gained knowledge about ourselves. For example, we learned how to target jobs based on our qualities.”

Sindy said the program enabled her to stay focused so she could get where she wanted to be. It helped, she says, that the facilitators “let us be who we are.”

Going into the program, Sindy had anxiety about the interview process, a fear she has since overcome. “Now the elevator speech is my best friend,” she laughs.

Sindy also took certifications such as Serving it Right and SuperHost, which helped prepare her for a job in customer service.

“There are opportunities despite one’s age,” she says. “If someone doesn’t know where they want to go, this is the program for them.”

Sindy is grateful to RAFT, adding that her new career “probably wouldn’t have happened without KCDS’ help.” Since starting her job last March, Sindy has been promoted to supervisor and received a number of raises. Her passion for her job and her hard work have paid off.

“I found my niche,” says Sindy. “This will probably be the last place I work.”