Lucas Gates’s Employment Story

  • “Honestly, I’m working my dream job right now,” Lucas grins. Like many adults, self-advocate Lucas isn’t shifting gears to go back to school after a long summer. Today, he wanted to focus on how others can succeed without the structure of school. After all, finding a job that will stick through fall and spring is tough for some! This is Lucas’s story of how he’s thrived in the working world.



    Lucas currently works at the Pacific Autism Family Network and at Canucks Sports and Entertainment as a receptionist and as a merchandise salesperson, respectively. But he didn’t land those jobs without any effort. He participated in an employment program that helped hone a broad set of work-related skills, and that training helped him find a job at the Pacific Autism Family Network. For him, the environment at PAFN was a perfect fit, since as the 2019 Self-Advocate of the Year, Lucas was already familiar with the processes and resources that families with kids on the spectrum go through.

    His work with Canucks Sports and Entertainment also came from a place of passion as a Canucks fan. Though everyone gets a little nervous before a job interview, Lucas gave himself time to calm down and reminded himself that being true to his personality during his interview was the most important aspect of the experience. Not too long later, he got the job and joined a diverse and accepting team.

    Getting to interact with other Canucks fans and youth on the spectrum have been dream jobs for Lucas, and passion is key for success and establishing a healthy work routine. You may not have school in September, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to look forward to!

    Are you looking for employment resources for people on the spectrum? There are some great programs out there. AutismBC in partnership with Orbital Learning deliver the Employment Retention Training and Assessment (ERTA) program, funded by the Vancouver Foundation.

    Other employment programs include;

    Ready Willing and Able (RWA), delivered by InclusionBC

    Employment Works Canada (EWC) and Go Group delivered by the Pacific Autism Family Network

    Employment Services and Supports (ESS), delivered by WorkBC 

    Lucas Gates, being presented with the 2019 Self Advocate of the Year award, from the 2018 winner Nicole Provost, founder of Mayday Youth Choir.