Posted on June 27, 2022

Opening doors to education in the community

Vancouver Community College (VCC) recently partnered with the Open Door Group (ODG) to create customized, accessible training courses for its Opportunities Fund clients, people with disabilities, and those facing barriers to education.

This partnership is a key example of VCC’s commitment to supporting access to education and community engagement.  

With the support of the Partnership Development Office (PDO), the ODG team worked with the Counselling Skills and Asian Culinary Arts departments to build two short-term, customized skills training courses that started in February 2022.  

Through the training, students gained industry-recognized skills, which increased their confidence.

“It was great to see the students get more comfortable and competent in the kitchen," says Sonny Ho, VCC Asian Culinary Arts instructor, who ran the kitchen basics training. "After the training, one of the students let me know they were able to find work again after being out of the workforce for several years.”  

This training project also opened doors for the students to pursue further post-secondary education at VCC.

“For many of my clients, taking a skills-training program or course at a post-secondary institution can be intimidating and unattainable,” says Laicy Falk, community coordinator at ODG. “Now being a VCC alumni, they have the option to continue their education at VCC which opens up more educational and career possibilities.”  

Ross Brewster was a student in the basic counselling skills course. “This training has provided me with a huge toolkit to developing my skills and thinking about my career path. It has made me more confident, for sure,”  he says.

After this success, VCC and the Opportunities Fund through Open Door Group will continue to partner together to deliver several more iterations of these training courses in Fall 2022.

Is your organization or department considering a community partnership training project? The Partnership Development Office may be able to help. Reach out to Interim Director, Michael Yue, at for more information.