Our Story

West Kootenay Social Enterprise Society, formally Sunshine Bay Enterprises began janitorial contracting in the Nelson area in 1985.  In 1993 the company converted to employing people with barriers to employment and has maintained that focus ever since. Throughout the years we have enjoyed the un-official partnership of Kootenay Career Development Services in Nelson, Career Development Services in Train and Nelson, Nelson mental health, and Ashland Training Centre’s Achieve program in Castlegar.  In 2008 the company officially became a non profit organization and has opperated under West Kootenay Social Enterprise Society since then.

We pride ourselves on dedicated service, prompt attention to emergencies and deficiencies and above all, security.  All employee’s are given strict procedures to ensure the safety, security, and confidentiality of our clients.

WKSES is a non-profit organization that hires local persons with barriers to employment in the Nelson, Castlegar and Trail area to carry out janitorial-type duties.  .

We are competitive in the janitorial market and charge a fee for the services we provide.  Where we differ from other organizations is that we currently receive funding from the Vancouver Foundation which is used for on the job support of our staff.  Job coaches train staff initially on site, as well as offer ongoing support as needed for each individual.  As we expand, gain more contracts, and hire more employee’s we hope to not need the assistance of ongoing funders.  WKSES strives to be self-sufficient, and a leading company in the quality of services we provide.

This social enterprise contributes greatly to the community, as it gives people job opportunities who may not be employed otherwise.  It changes their lives as it helps them gain experience, confidence, work ethics and gives them a feeling of self worth, not to mention earning money of their own.  Many of them live on a Disability Pension, which is far below poverty.  Some employee’s use the money that they earn  as extra living money, and others strive to work as much as possible so that they can get off of the Disability Pension.

All community support is greatly appreciated.  It will benefit you as a service receiver knowing that you’re helping out less fortunate individuals, while receiving a service that is well needed.