FreshSTART Program: Skills Training and Readiness Training for Employment

Our team will work with eligible participants to address barriers through life skills services and increase skills for success and job readiness through job search assistance, skills training (including short-term certificate training), employment experiences and financial supports. Many community partnerships and employers are in place to further support the success of Participants.Contact Piers today for more information and eligibility criteria!

West Kelowna Fire Relief Program

This project is funded through a grant application under the Fire Relief Fund (2023), coordinated by the United Way. This project serves community members impacted by the McDougall Creek Wildfire. Program activities include provision of rental subsidies and other financial supports, referrals/advocacy, wrap around support, housing options, housing search and follow-up.

Customized Employment Services

Customized Employment services are designed to create unique, meaningful employment or self-employment experiences for individuals needing more intensive, specialized services. Job placements are specifically developed and carved to suit each individual, adhering to the guiding principles and philosophy of Customized Employment – “real work for real pay.”

Customized Employment uses the individualized assessment of the strengths, needs and interests of the participant, identified and gathered through an initial Discovery process and the development of an Employment Profile. This process enables coaches and clients to work together to secure employment opportunities that are suitable to the job seeker’s strengths and abilities. Further services provided through this effective program include one-on-one intensive job coaching and job maintenance assistance. Assistance with employment terms and conditions, contracts etc. make this a very user friendly program for employers as well as job seekers.

Piers is a qualified contractor for Community Living British Columbia.


Social Services and Community Support Worker Diploma – Project Based Labour Market Training

This project is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia and is part of the Project Based Labour Market Training funding. The Social Services and Community Support Worker Diploma Program (SSCS) is providing 30 individuals full time certificate training with complementary services to support their quest for employment in the social services industry. In conjunction with our training partner, Excel Career College, Piers SSCS program is delivering 28 weeks of full-time classroom training, a comprehensive 5-week practicum placement, Skills for Success training, as well as wrap-around support. For programs like this please connect with your local WorkBC office to see what opportunities are available for you!

Shelter Diversion Services

Piers has been providing housing retention services within various provincial and federal programs since 2009.  Previous programming included housing placement using Housing First Methodologies, allowing us to develop excellent working relationships with market landlords and service providers offering subsidized, transitional and affordable housing.  Through this extensive experience, we have developed solid best practices around housing retention and helping individuals keep their housing, thus avoiding homelessness and shelter stays.  Our current housing retention programs in West Kelowna and Vernon are funded through the federal Reaching Home Rural and Remote initiative as well as BC Housing.  These shelter diversion programs offer holistic assistance to individuals struggling with barriers to retaining their housing, in the form of life skills counselling, access to mental health and addictions service, rental subsidies and supports, financial stability assistance, employment services, etc.  In addition, we provide similar services to our Third Party Administration of Benefits clients in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, and Penticton.  Piers also employs staff qualified to administer BC Housing’s Vulnerability Assessment tool, helping our communities to prioritize our at-risk and homeless community members in need of housing.

Peer Employment

Piers for Peers services are provided in the communities of Penticton, and West Kelowna, and work with people at-risk of, or experiencing homelessness to provide peer employment placements. These placements value the lived experiences of Participants, provide hope that recovery is possible, and opportunity for individual growth and enhanced self-esteem. The program helps to address barriers through life skills services, poverty reduction services, in-house rental subsidies, landlord mediation, as well as increases essential skills and job readiness through peer placements, short term certifications, and financial supports.

Third Party Administration of Benefits Program

On behalf of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Piers delivers Third Party Administration of Benefits in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton. This program provides participants with conflict resolution, life skills and employment coaching, administration of income assistance benefits, and non-ministry advocacy services. This program is offered in an effort to assist individuals in positively managing their personal and professional life. All individuals participating in this program must be referred to Piers by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

Skill Development and Workshops 

Piers has developed over 60 individualized lesson plans delivered in both group and one-on-one settings. These workshops are designed to enhance employment related skills and goals and to promote positive well-being and healthy living. Too numerous to list, our workshops are geared towards the following themes:

  • Employment and career planning
  • Personal and employment related skill development
  • Life Skills (including basic need workshops such as housing and Health Enhancement and Personal Care)
  • Housing

Piers is a pre-qualified skill development services contractor for Community Living British Columbia.

Services are provided in one of our four Piers offices or in WorkBC offices in the Central and South Okanagan. Contact us to learn more, or visit WorkBC Kelowna.

BC MInistry
Government of Canada
Community Living
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1799 Harvey Avenue,
Kelowna, BC  V1Y 6G4

Tel: (250) 762-3494
Fax: (778) 478-0133



401 Martin Street,
Penticton, BC  V2A 5L1

Tel: (250) 490-8696
Fax: (778) 478-0133



#3-2411 Drought Road
West Kelowna, BC  V4T 1P6

Tel: (250) 878-2740
Fax: (778) 478-0133



3006 34th Street,
Vernon, BC  V1T 5X5

Tel: (236) 426-3838
Fax: (778) 478-0133