The Campbell River and District Association for Community Living’s employment program has been assisting people with developmental disabilities find meaningful employment for over 23 years. During that time, the organization has connected numerous businesses in the community with reliable, committed employees. The Campbell River Mirror is pleased to be able to present another in a series of articles profiling local businesses that have brought meaningful employment to people with developmental disabilities.
In addition to being known for delicious pizza and casual dining, the Campbell River Boston Pizza is a locally-owned and operated business that is doing an excellent job at positively impacting the local economy.
As an inclusive employer, they have been creating benefits for all of society, by utilizing and valuing all of the communities’ citizens, including people with disabilities.
David Marsters has been working as a scullery technician/dishwasher at the restaurant for nearly two years. The owner Chris Seeley says that David is always positive and takes pride in his work.
“He truly feels he contributes to the success of the business and we believe he does,” Seeley says about Marsters’ work ethic.
Although Marsters has experienced many different roles in his working life, he comments on how he enjoys being the member of a team in a busy environment.
He says, “I like being around other people when I work. I would be bored if I say… sat at a desk all day twiddling my thumbs, it’s just not my cup of tea.”
When asked if he receives any rewards for his hard work he says, “Oh yes! I get tips plus I get discounts on food.”
He laughs and smiles, “I like working here.”
Boston Pizza puts a strong emphasis on hiring employees based on how they fit with the organizational culture, which has also earned the company the award for “Canada’s top 10 most admired corporate cultures” two years in a row.
Seeley, whose business has built a 15-year relationship with the ACL, believes that it is important to have a workforce that reflects the community.
He explains, “The biggest step was working with a job developer from the association so that we could understand David as an individual. For example, what he responds to and then communicating that to the management team, so that everybody understands our business strategy when working with him.
“The organization will do what is needed to help the person be successful and that has helped me as a business owner.”
In truth, employers don’t need to deal with several agencies. The Campbell River and District Association for Community Living is a local coordinating agency that can help employers and people it represents connect.
Hiring people with disabilities can give businesses a competitive edge in the race for talent. When an employer shows it cares about its people, it sends a message that it is a good place to work for all employees. Studies also show that an inclusive work culture improves moral, and this in turn improves the quality and productivity of every employee. Furthermore, businesses whose workforces mirror the community better position themselves to understand the needs of their customers.
It is the leadership of business owners like Seeley and the ambition of people like Marsters that articulates a credible realistic vision of the future, where all people have the equal opportunity to contribute as responsible citizens.
To learn more about how people like Marsters can help your business, call 250-286-0394 ex. 331. Or check out the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living’s Facebook page at CRADACL Employment or follow @cradaclemployed on Twitter.