For the past four months, Special Olympian George Doikoff has been taking the bus twice a week to his new maintenance job at a North Vancouver superstore to feed empty boxes into the trash compactor.
“I’m a friendly guy and helpful. I like working there to help people and be friendly. I like working hard,” Doykov, 27, said of the shirt. said in an online call with reporters, wearing a tie.
“I have nice colleagues and they help me. They are nice to me.”
Doikov, who has competed at the Special Olympics in six sports and has won several medals, is part of CBI Consultants, a private employment agency that finds employers for people who have difficulty finding work because of their disabilities. Got the gig with the help. The agency is funded by Community Living BC, a state crown company.
CBI employment specialist Samantha Lutz said even in today’s job market, where labor shortages are prevalent, finding employers willing to hire applicants with disabilities remains a major challenge. .
There is a long waiting list of workers, she said. “We definitely need employers willing to hire inclusively.”
One day, Doikov was shopping at a superstore with his mother when he noticed a large sign that said they were hiring.
Lutz helped Doikov apply online and briefed the grocery chain about the program. She participated in her first shift with Doikov during her training period, and he now works independently.
“I can’t say enough about what they (superstores) do,” Lutz said. “They’ve been great.”
“He’s great and his demeanor is great,” said Deputy Store Manager Daishawn Wilford. “His smile is contagious and keeps the team spirit and morale up during the shift. He takes pride in what he does.”
Doikov also attends weekly classes at CBI with others who have found work through the program. Lutz is one of his three hiring professionals working with clients and currently has 15 workers. We continue to update our work and social skills.
CBI is introduced to clients by Community Living BC to train job skills, including working with computers, and social skills required for the workplace. You will also receive support in writing your resume and navigating the interview process.
CBI is one of many agencies that receive referrals from Community Living to help people with disabilities find jobs. According to his website for Community Living, in 2013 he launched a hiring plan as a pilot project in three neighborhoods in B.C., with a goal of hiring 1,200 people in three years. . At the end of the pilot, 4,000 job seekers reported their earnings over the past 12 months. That’s 20% of the 20,000 people Community Living serves.
The goal over the next three years was to expand the program statewide and find jobs for 5,000 people. As of the end of September, about 5,300 people had reported income in the past 12 months, according to spokeswoman Patricia Hall.
Community Living says work gives people a sense of camaraderie, makes them happier and more confident, increases social and friend-making opportunities, increases financial security and independence, and develops skills.
Hiring people with disabilities also benefits companies, says Lutz. This will open up a pool of reliable and qualified workers, allowing hiring professionals to act as liaisons during and after training, she said.
“They are capable of more than we believe,” she said.
Also, companies can expand their diverse hiring, she said.
Even if companies need to improve their workplaces to make them more accessible or more comfortable, if necessary, that’s the net profit.
A year ago, the Human Rights Commissioner’s BC office announced a program aimed at reducing discrimination against people with disabilities.
At the time, there were 926,100 British Columbians aged 15 and over with disabilities. Also, in the last decade, he said 43% of human rights complaints filed with BC were based on disability, the largest percentage of complaints filed with human rights courts.
Abbotsford landscaping company The Grounds Guys has employed people with disabilities for about 11 of its 13 years in business, said Chris Daaistra, who owns the company with his wife Juanita. Especially when the labor shortage is becoming more serious.
He said the workers were hardworking and trustworthy, with a few exceptions. I have 5 workers.
“We give people a reason to wake up in the morning and take responsibility,” he said.
He once hired someone who used a wheelchair while cleaning a parking lot, and one of his most loyal employees was another local parking lot where he was well-known and well-liked. Another employee is patrolling the garage.
“He texted me when he got home and told me he loved his job,” Daaistra said.
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