Ria Smith - Hazelton WorkBC ESC - Self Employment/Remote Work

2 February 2016

Before visiting the Hazelton WorkBC Employment Services Centre, Upper Skeena Development Centre, Ria was receiving Employment Insurance (EI) and was having difficulty securing full time employment as a cook. Ria was familiar with WorkBC as she had been a client in 2014 where she attended employment workshops and received skills training funding for Food Safe Level 1.

Ria had an idea for self-employment. She had worked as a cook in a wide variety of restaurants in the last 5 years and gained a variety of experience which she felt gave her the perfect skill set for operating a food truck in the Upper Skeena region. Work BC provided support to Ria and assisted her with applying for Self Employment Benefits and referring her to 16/37 Community Futures for further support with her Self Employment Plan. She purchased a trailer, customized it into a food trailer and bought a truck with help from her business partner, her sister. While developing her Fender Food Company food truck business, WorkBC continued to provide living supports to Ria to help her on her way.   
Additionally, while she was in the process of starting her business, Ria competed in a Thrive North Futurepreneaur competition in Prince Rupert and won the Best New Business Idea for her business plan. She won $10,000 to put towards her new venture! In June 2015 Ria opened her business, Fender Food Co., and is selling delicious local foods at farmer’s markets and festivals in the northwest.

Visit the WorkBC Employment Services Centre Hazelton to learn more about the employment services and supports offered.

Posted: January 26, 2016