Many people have been affected by the downturn in the economy in the past year, and this is certainly the case of Don Kinsley, a Deaf CHS Employment Services client in Durham Region. Don, (like many other Durham residents) found himself laid off, despite being a skilled tool and die maker due to the issues facing the automotive manufacturing sector.
With the assistance of the CHS Employment Services Program, he is successfully retraining at Durham College (with financial support) under the Second Career program in order to gain more in demand training as a Mechanical Maintenance and Control Technician, with ASL interpreters and note takers as part of his accommodation plan.
But his story of career change did not end here. The Employment Services program also helped him identify his transferable skills gained from community involvement and with changes to his resume and interview skills, he successfully gained contract employment as a Community Development Worker and in the process, advocated for accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in health care facilities.
A natural leader and mentor, he also recently taught Technical Math and Woodworking skills to Deaf students at George Brown College, who are themselves considering further training in the skilled trades. In all of these pursuits, Don received support from Employment Services and accommodations with ASL Interpreters, ensuring service in his first language. His is a story of career change and transition during challenging economic times and how specialized employment resources made a big difference in him successfully adapting to this change.
It is hoped that his story will give confidence to others that a career in the skilled trades is possible for Deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing consumers.