EMBERS Staffing Solutions sends over 200 people to work each week, and as our driver, Donna plays a significant part in that! She drives our workers to their job sites early every morning and assists with recruiting and office administration. Tough but friendly, Donna makes our workers feel at home.
What brought you to EMBERS?
Two years ago, I suffered a motor vehicle accident. I had been cleared to start working for a couple hours a day. So Mike, my boyfriend, said why don’t you go to EMBERS? I told him I’m not going to EMBERS, because all they do is construction. But, I came in and did the orientation. They said we need a driver, so I started as a driver, and I guess I never left. I am still driving, doing recruiting, and in the morning, making sure everything is ready before the workers come in. It was very humbling to come to Vancouver. I believe it is God’s way of saying I think I have a different path for you to be on.
What was going on in your life before you came to EMBERS?
I had worked in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years, and was a restaurant manager in Calgary. Mike was living in Vancouver, and he wanted me to move here. I got a job in Vancouver as a restaurant manager. But two days before the job was going to start, I had my accident. I was in rehab for two years and got stronger every day.
My back was a major barrier to finding work. I had to stay in an SRO because I couldn’t climb stairs. There was nowhere to live here. It was not a great place for me and Mike to live in. It took me three years to get out of the SRO and find an apartment.
What’s your favourite part about working at EMBERS?
I love the people I work with. There is always banter going back and forth. I like putting a smile on people’s faces. EMBERS gave me a chance to see if I can go back to work. I don’t ever want to leave EMBERS because it is like a family to me. I can be open and honest and trust the people here.
When people ask you about EMBERS, what do you say?
EMBERS is a second chance in life for people who are down on their luck, or have simply lost what they had before. It’s hard to start from bare bottom nothing. I say come on over here, we’ll help you out. If there is something else you want to do like hoist, that’s okay. We’ll train you, you can move up.