Nelson—At 66, Grant Clubine wasn’t ready to retire. But after spending most of his adult life as a journeyman electrician, Grant no longer felt a spark for the profession.

Seeking support for a career change, Grant met with an employment counsellor at WorkBC who referred him to the RAFT program. RAFT is a free, five-week program that prepares individuals to work in retail, accommodation, food service and tourism.

Grant knew he wanted to work in customer service as he’s always loved helping others. As a teen, he had worked in a grocery store. Grant decided to take his career path full circle and target a job at Save On Foods in Nelson. He had been a loyal customer of the company since the 1980s when he noticed it was one of the first grocery stores in Nelson to offer organic produce.

“RAFT had all the certification courses I required to work in retail,” says Grant. “Getting them definitely helped but listening to my colleagues talk about their experiences and sharing ideas about job searches really helped with confidence building.”

Grant adds that taking assessments and learning how to identify and use his strengths also helped boost his confidence.

“No matter where I end up these skills will help me communicate better and make real connections with people,” says Grant.

Grant also received professional help with creating a targeted resume and cover letter, which was initially challenging given his long work history as an electrician. By identifying his transferable skills, interests and experience he was able to apply them to the Save On setting.

Grant emphasizes the importance of RAFT’s group setting, saying “actively working towards our goals and meeting each ‘class day’ to discuss our tasks and support each other is way more inspiring than searching for meaningful employment by one’s self.”

“Being in the RAFT program with everyone just made me feel so much more positive and hopeful about the future.”

Grant’s class was the first one KCDS held virtually, in response to COVID-19. “Doing it via Zoom was interesting and made it so easy to live regular life after class, not having to spend time commuting.”

“It really shows that working together in a supportive positive atmosphere makes people much happier and productive,” he adds.

Within weeks of completing the RAFT program, Grant was hired by Save On, where he’s working with what he calls a “wonderful” team. Grant has distinguished himself as being incredibly friendly and helpful.

He proves that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams or change your career.