Darrin Stubbs is a “jack of all trades” when it comes to the Association. Starting out as a group home worker in 1984, Darrin worked his way through managerial positions in a number of departments including Swan Industries, CSO (Community Support Options) and New Generations, the Association’s used clothing business.
In 1995,Grande Prairie’s regional recycling program was in its infancy. Darrin was hired by Jeff Linton to work in the bottle depot at Recycle Plus and he quickly moved into a management position there as well. Darrin brings his many years’ experience and specific knowledge of the organization to his current position as the Association’s Director of Business Services.
Darrin has been able to grow personally and professionally while adapting to the many positions he has held over the years. When Darrin looks back he thinks fondly of many of the characters he has met through the years.
One of the toughest challenges Darrin remembers happened during the startup of Recycle Plus in the mid 1990s. Darrin remembers working approximately seventy hours a week to keep the plant running. It was very difficult for about two or three years and all the while, the business was losing money.
Recruiting and advertising for staff demands a lot of creativity in the current Grande Prairie economy.
It’s tough, but prosperity is a good thing. It’s a good problem to have. I’d rather have that than a low population and a low amount of activity happening. It’s stressful. But you have your core group of people that stay there all the time. And what you want to do is add to that core group of people.
The CSO program works to find community work for the clients. The jobs are gained through established contacts or through “cold calls” in an attempt to sell the program to potential employers. Success depends on the economy. When times are tough, it is more difficult to arrange the job placements.
Clients are supervised in the workplace until they are accustomed to the routine and can perform the job independently. Employers understand the dynamics of the program, but many times they are busy doing their own work.
If you are in a work environment where the supervisor, manager or owner is working with the people, then it’s great. But sometimes they are off to the side and they just want you to clean that place, or make that donut, or whatever.
The Emerald Award is offered every year for outstanding achievement for the environment. It is a prestigious recycling award in Alberta and Recycle Plus won for their category in 2001. Darrin was instrumental in making that distinction a reality for Recycle Plus and it is a fitting statement about the level of dedication he brings to his work at the Association.