When Ocean Trailer opened its doors in Delta, owner Sid Keay knew he wanted to hire someone with a developmental disability to be part of the team. “Employees with disabilities are hardworking and dedicated and bring a great amount of energy to the workplace,” says Sid.
He then asked his human resource supervisor, Jackie Grant, to help find an employee that would be a great fit with the Ocean Trailer Team. Jackie worked with Delta Society for Community Living and their Solutions Employment Services program to find a job seeker who had the skills and interest to work at Ocean Trailer.
“The staff at Solutions Employment Services connected us with Ken and he seemed to be a good fit for us,” says Jackie. “They worked closely with us to make sure Ken had the support he needed and that we had the type of work environment for Ken to be successful.”
Ken has been working at Ocean Trailer for almost two years and has a variety of responsibilities around the office. He is responsible for refilling the vending machines, recycling and garbage disposal and yard maintenance. “We look forward to having Ken in the office every day and he is included in all our office events, lunches and get togethers,” says Jackie. “Ken has great relationships with the staff, he loves to talk and is a pleasure to have around.”
Ocean Trailer was nominated for an Innovative Labour Solutions Award last year for being an inclusive employer and won in their category. The Awards are organized by the City of Surrey, the Rotary Club of Surrey, Rotary at Work BC, Milieu Family Services, Community Living BC, and WorkBC and recognize employers and businesses in Surrey and surrounding areas that have gone above and beyond to create a welcoming workplace where everyone feels valued and respected, promotes inclusive hiring and provides meaningful employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities.
“Winning the award was an eye-opening experience,” says Jackie. “To hear the impact that inclusive employers bring to someone’s life was ever changing for me.”
“I wish all employers knew the benefits that hiring someone like Ken can bring to the workplace and experience what a difference it makes in everyone’s lives,” says Sid, “I encourage people to look around their workplace and think about the added benefit that hiring someone with a developmental challenge can bring.”
For more information on how to become an inclusive employer please visit: readywillingable.ca
The 2015 Labour Solutions Award event will take place on October 1, at Eaglequest Golf Course, 7778-152 Street, Surrey. Register by September 24, 5 pm online at: awards.surreyrotary.ca
Nominations close: September 9, by 5 pm.