It takes commitment and dedication to understand and embrace the value of inclusive hiring – and that’s exactly what for-profit thrift retailer, Value Village did. Lisa Laforest, Manager at Value Village Windsor ON South, knew once her location was chosen to hire through Ready, Willing and Able (RWA), her highly engaged team of 60 would be thrilled to take part in this initiative.
The positive team environment was an ideal spot for Value Village to test out this now very successful national partnership. “We’ve had huge success working with RWA. We currently have five employees hired through RWA on the team,” says Laforest.
Multiple hires can often be overwhelming. Once the team was able to meet and work with the new employees, they quickly became an integral part of the team. “After the first week, Moe knew everyone by name and Catherine has really come out of her shell working here,” shares Laforest.
Moe, initially hired as a truck off-loader, completes other tasks such as general clean up, loading trailers and replacing hangers. “Moe has gone above and beyond my initial expectations. He’ll come in early, stay late and never calls in sick,” shares Laforest.
According to a recent RWA Employer Survey (CIC, 2016), employees with disabilities demonstrate strong performance, good attendance and higher-than-usual job retention. RWA educates organizations of these business advantages with a goal to increase the labour force participation of people with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Catherine and Lynn, hired at the same time as Moe, work in hanging and sorting clothing. Originally, both were expected to work 3-4 hours per week in their positions. A year later, they now work almost the same number of hours as their fellow part-time colleagues.
“There was some initial hesitation with their positions. However, with on-the-job support from RWA and Community Living Windsor, Catherine and Lynn have now become some of my strongest employees in their roles,” says Laforest.
With both computer and practical training required for all Value Village employees, RWA provided Laforest with direct one-on-one supports, and helped ensure a smooth onboarding process.
The success Laforest’s location has experienced with this initiative has led to recent recognition by Community Living Windsor as Employer of the Year, “We’re so proud to be involved with RWA. We’ve been able to find employees that fit so well with the team and are constantly going above and beyond.”
Laforest expresses zero hesitation when speaking of the success experienced within the Value Village-RWA employment partnership and recommends it to fellow employers, “When you have employees that are so eager and are always putting forth 100%, why wouldn’t you want to hire with RWA?”
Funded by the Government of Canada and active in 20 communities across the country, RWA is a national partnership of the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations.
If you’re interested in learning more about inclusive hiring, contact us today.