“I did a good job today; my boss is happy.” These are the words of Gordon Nooski, said after finished his job at Westline Ford. Gordon has entered his second year doing seasonal jobs for the company, and it is evident he is supported and welcomed as a valued team member.
Every Thursday, Gordon walks into the dealership, dressed in his work coveralls and safety glasses in hand. Gordon enters the dealership through the front doors so he can see all the staff members and say hello. They all cheerfully greet him back, “Hey Gordon, good to see you!” He then goes around to the back to fill out his time sheet and gets to work for two solid hours.
Gordon uses his whipper snipper to clean up the ditches and areas around the Westline property. He will complete odd jobs around the facility as well. He works hard and non stop. If his shipper snipper is out of gas or string, his support worker hands him another one and fixes it so it is ready to go. This is how Gordon likes to work. And this is what works for his employer. The partnership and the employment is meaningful to everyone.
Vanderhoof has opened its doors to hiring people with disabilities, and the outcomes are astounding. To the employees who experience disabilities it is more than receiving a paycheque, it is about being part of a team. It is about wearing a nametag or dressing like the other employees. Vanderhoof businesses are showcasing what inclusion looks like.
“It isn’t about standing out, it is about being part of something and contributing to the community by working and investing into it,” says Kerry Coates, program manager at Nechako Valley Community Services Society (NVCSS).
Rex Milliard at Ace Building Center understands this. Jay was recently hired at Ace, but needs a ride to work. Rex tweaked the schedule and arranged it that coworkers can pick Jay up to ensure he makes it to work. This is true teamwork and Jay couldn’t be happier with this employment opportunity. The company helps him be successful and in return they have a hard working individual who enjoys being part of this team.
“NVCSS supports individuals on their way to their job and work alongside them, to ensure the employment expectations are fulfilled,” says Coates. The amount of support offered depends on the amount of supports required in order for the new employee to be successful. Some employees require full supports the entire shift, while others graduate up to working independently without NVCSS supports. The support worker’s wages and insurance are all covered by NVCSS.
Nechako Valley Community Services Society will be sponsoring a business excellence award in 2018. If you know of a business that showcases inclusion and employs people who experience disabilities, they can be nominated next year.
– files submitted by Kerry Coates, Nechako Valley Community Services Society