Venture Training has been serving the North Okanagan since 1955

More than a place to work

Their motto is 'Turning disabilities into abilities.'

Since 1955, the Vernon and District Association for Community Living has been working with men and women with mental challenges.

Commonly known as Venture Training, the agency supports adults with developmental disabilities by providing social, educational and vocational training.

The association provides services for more than 200 participants, and currently offers 19 interactive programs, which empower individuals to use their strengths with hands-on skill-building opportunities.

The facility at Alexis Park Drive and Old Kamloops Road operates Cycle Cycle, where unclaimed and donated bikes are repaired or broken down for parts. They also operate a recycling depot and a wood shop that has been running for decades.

CEO Ryan Cucheron says the programs give participants a place where they can learn skills as well as providing a place for them to work.

“Over the years, VDACL has been able to build this and create that culture of an accepting place where they can come and put in a good day's work and also earn some money and work on skills that will eventually help them later on in life,” Cucheron said.

The programs also give participants a purpose, a place to go every day.

“People love it here. People get to come to work, see friends every day, discuss their life, the hockey game that was on the night before ... we've seen a lot of people make really good social connections here,” said Cucheron.

The association also operates six residential care homes in Vernon that are staffed 24/7, home-share programs, community access programs, and more.

For more information, visit the VDACL website.

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