The Government of Canada is committed to building a diverse public service that reflects Canadian society and serves as a model of inclusion for both public and private sector employers. In Halifax, Joe Gnemmi and the team at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), a federal department that provides key operational support to other federal organizations, have successfully put this commitment into action. Having experienced the business advantage that inclusion brings, Joe identified an opportunity to diversify the workforce at PSPC.
Reaching out to Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) and its local delivery partner, Autism Nova Scotia (ANS), Joe received support in the recruitment and selection process and in organizing information sessions for PSPC’s employees. Joe explains, “The goal was to help our staff gain a better understanding of autism and make sure that we’re ready to support our new employees so that they can succeed”.
With a background in data management, Melinda Cadarette, an employee with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was a perfect fit for the role of Document Control Clerk. Joe shares, “Her skills are exactly what we’re looking for in this position and she gets along great with the team.”
Stephen Penney, an employee with ASD who holds a Master’s degree in Theoretical Physics and Quantum Mechanics, also joined the PSPC team. Bringing superior skills in mathematics, solid analytical and problem-solving skills and a high level of professional integrity, Stephen was a perfect fit for the role of Land Information Assistant.
Stephen’s supervisor, Matthew Smith, shares, “Stephen adds tremendous value to our workplace. He is always ready to help anyone and brings a great skill set to the table and has a keen eye for detail, which is essential for his role.”
PSPC’s partnership with RWA resulted in two valuable hires, earned Joe recognition by PSPC’s Regional Executive Committee for his role in fostering an inclusive workplace and inspired PSPC to remain committed to creating a more inclusive workforce.
Photo: From left to right: Stephen Penney and Wes McNeil