As an employer we are very proud to be involved with Semiahmoo House and their Customized Employment Program promoting inclusivity in the workplace. Semiahmoo House worked with us to determine our business’ needs, and matched us with appropriate job seekers based on their strengths, and interests. We were lucky enough to match with Amanda Hart who has been a welcome addition into our work family at GroupHEALTH. Having Amanda fit seamlessly into our day to day life has been very inspiring for our team. She supports us three times per week and assists with filing, watering of plants, refilling paper in copiers, printing labels, workstation preparation, mail, and various other administrative tasks. Not only does Amanda help us significantly in the office, but she has also opened our eyes to the positive outcomes that are possible when you include individuals with diverse abilities in the workplace. Amanda is a loyal, dedicated, and confident worker, and her upbeat attitude continues to have a positive influence on our team. We are thrilled with the success we have had in hiring Amanda and strongly recommend Semiahmoo House’s Customized Employment Program to all employers.
Office Manager Lexi Danielson, and the entire staff at Valley Driving School (Surrey) appreciate Raminder's skills and abilities, and have encouraged him to grow as an employee. The staff on numerous occasions has mentioned how they truly appreciate Raminder's joy being at work, and his eagerness to complete his tasks. The staff appreciates Raminder's cleaning skills, and his ability to greet customers and staff with a smile and a greeting.
Valley Driving School has definitely been a welcoming and inclusive workplace. All the staff is very kind and welcoming to fellow co-workers and to customers. This respectful behaviour has even encouraged Raminder to become very social. There has been a huge difference in Raminder and his confidence at work, and that is because he feels included and happy at work. It is the small things that Valley has done to make Raminder feel like he is a respected and supported employee. Such as making him his very own Valley t-shirt, having a drawer for his belongings, or just talking to him about his favourite hockey team, the Canucks.
All four ladies employed with the marketing team have strong interpersonal and/or organizational skills. Mady is great at presentations and presents to classes at the college on a regular basis, she good at organizing and puts together the info packages for prospective students. Kirsten loves small talk and hands out goodies and "swag" on student appreciation days. Cherry has a strong voice and commanding presence, and greets people as they come for info sessions. Katie is great at organizing and makes sure the guest lists are checked and every prospective student receives an info package.
Mady works as a marketing assistant and recently received a raise to reflect her growing abilities. She is a different person after two years with Stenberg; no longer shy and eager to speak at public engagements. The marketing team works closely with all four ladies to develop their skills and receive more responsibilities. This is evidenced by the ladies confidence in their work and eagerness to continue as a part of the marketing team.
As Krista wanted to move up to recognize the products and do more direct customer service -serving the customer, Nancy adapted some training time for Krista to work directly with the baker and herself to learn to identify the items. Training on the key pad, making a make shift laminated version to practice at home on, and on-going training to offer Krista more challenges, help Krista maintain employment, as Krista says it is time to challenge herself.
Kiefer enjoys working as the Shipment Receiver in various Tim Hortons restaurants. At times he needs extra support and modeling and the employer has utilized a job coach. Kiefer is part of the team and other team members support and encourage him to do his very best. Kiefer learns from his experiences and has grown to see his true potential with the help of ourselves and the employer.
Jesse was warmly welcomed from the moment of hire, the staff teams were very supportive of Jesse, assisting in the training and coaching in his new position. Jesse like all new hires to the Utility position started off slow, however Jesse is meticulous. Once the employer saw this in Jesse, he knew coaching him on speed would be easy, but attention to detail and desire to do the job with pride was something that has to already be there and Jesse had it in spades.
Kurtis loves his job as a Play Group Assistant. He greets the children, interacts with children using various toys, cleans toys, sets up the playroom, helps the children wash hands, pours the juice for snack time and assists the play group leader (Infant Development Playgroup Consultant). Sherrie Jamieson appreciates his ability and enthusiasm in his job. Sherrie has expanded his job duties, so Kurtis is also working in the Reach Preschool Program. The title, Preschool Assistant, has been added to Kurtis' work title. Sherrie and the staff at Reach are supportive and welcoming towards Kurtis. Reach's creative innovative job adaptions are the foundation for Kurtis being successful in his job at Reach.
Mike and the Surrey location had such a positive experience with hiring Kaley and Gordon. It's because of this that they expanded their diverse workforce to include his Richmond store. At Mike's Richmond store, he employs one individual with a disability in the position of warehousing. Marcus provides help on the floor during two-hour shifts as well as in the warehouse every Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes on Saturday. Marcus didn’t start out with those hours and responsibilities however the Richmond Manager recognized the skill set of Marcus and increased his hours and responsibilities over time.
Mike appreciates the contribution which Kaley, Gordon and Marcus bring to his stores. They each create a good and welcoming experience for customers and serve as positive role models for his company. Mike will tell you that Kaley, Gordon and Marcus are conscientious employees. They show up on time, they are reliable and they are dedicated to doing a good job - regardless of the weather. Kaley, Gordon and Marcus have an excellent work ethic and bring awareness to Tile Town's brand and what Tile Town stands for as an employer in the community.
In terms of success, the story from Tile Town is that years ago we were somewhat apprehensive about whether or not it would work out in terms of inclusive hiring however our commitment to make adjustments to the individual’s jobs and respond to the ability of the person is what has made it successful.
With respect to Marcus, the individual we have working in our Richmond store, he started out as a sign shaker and lifting tile in the warehouse. He then heard the manager talk about how he wanted the store to look out front and Marcus took it upon himself to move things around to get it done. The manager now gets Marcus’ input and ideas on how things should look and where things should be placed.
For the two individuals in Surrey, we adjusted their hours to accommodate their schedule so they could continue to be employed. For the one individual we made modifications to the sign so she could use if effectively with her wheelchair to be successful in the job.
We have recently hired a gentleman in our Victoria store to stock tile in the showroom and in the beginning the manager was concerned that the individual was not going to work out because he was having difficulty knowing where to put the tile. The manager created visual cues by colour coding the boxes in the warehouse to the display piles out front in the showroom and that was all he needed to be successful in the job.
Tile Town supports all its employees to have the best chance of success in the jobs they do and that includes our employees with disabilities. Making accommodations and giving people more responsibility support their success which becomes our success as a company. They are valued contributing member of the team.