Employers in Durham Region are hiring persons with disabilities

In 2001 DREN recognized that employer’s who had hired persons with disabilities were a success story that deserved to be highlighted. Thus began the EmployABILITY Awards. That annual gala has since told dozens of
stories of how employee, support provider and employers have capitalized upon an exceptional
opportunity born of a simple truth. We are all capable. What employers can do is take a look at their processes and their policies, and so on, and ensure that there’s no barriers to employment for
anyone. Well, RBC has always embraced diversity as
well. Thirty-two percent of our workforce is self-identified as either visible minority
or people with disabilities. Part of our strategic initiative is to develop
partnerships with the community, and also to give people opportunities, and giving Holly
an opportunity was important to us. I don’t care if you washed dishes before,
I can bring you in here; you can run a machine tomorrow. When we hire somebody, it doesn’t really matter who you are, it is what you can do and what you can bring to the table. And really it comes down to a person’s skill set and matching their strength with the strengths of the job. Self-sufficient too. Which in a busy store really really helps. We just treat them as any other employee because they
really do have a lot to offer. I didn’t notice a disability; I just didn’t. We see Holly before we see her disability
at this point which is really great and I think it’s a marvelous opportunity for our
children to be with someone who has a disability. Open up your heart, and open up your arms, and welcome them in to the organization. We have professional development programs that we’ll put on and then we use, quite heavily, a series of mentorship programs. At RBC, we do partner with the CCRW the Canadian Council for Rehabilitation and Work, and we have them out to do an ergonomic assessment
and workplace assessment for the individual. We knew that if Drew needed a workload that
was going to be primarily sitting, we could afford him that. If there was one where he
could stand, we could afford him that too. I think everyone has
some disability whether it’s external or internal; everyone has some issue that they have. So, I don’t look at that as a handicap or hindrance. To me everyone has a disability. I got it. You got it. To other people, you are not strong in one area to them you might have a disability. To me it’s the same thing. What made you decide to open your own business in the first place? I have a really hard time talking. I would write things down. Hearing you can’t, you
can’t, you can’t, I always said I will, I will, I will I’ve known Eric for almost 4 years and I’ve seen him develop. I’ve also sponsored
his baseball team and that’s when I saw the other side of Eric. We’re going to take you from being a plumber
to a professor of plumbing. So why we hire you is because we know that real job application,
and what we give you is the ability to teach. He’s dependable. We ask Jordan
to get something or do something and you know it’s going to get done. Exactly you know it will get done. All the staff rave about Tim and the fact that he’s always someone that
is dependable and takes direction well. She was excellent at cleaning and organizing, and she does it in such a method. She’s just like doot doot doot doot doot doot He’s always the first person to help out a customer. He must’ve had the most tips
at Christmas time. They’re always trying to prove themselves
to you. They’re always doing the best they can. You don’t have to ask them to do anything
twice. They’re there to help you. He set the expectations so he always goes
above and beyond. I think Samantha goes above and beyond. The
other day I asked her to wipe down the baseboards and she washed down and she washed the whole
walls. Absolutely fantastic. She doesn’t leave
a single thing untouched; she’s very detailed. If he does have any time when he’s waiting
on a machine setup, he’ll go out of his way to help someone else do their job. My customers like him because he tries to be very helpful and he’s conscientious and that’s what our store’s about, customer service Next would be two stores. We would like to be known as a unique store that is across Canada. This is not hard. We haven’t had
to change anything in our organization to make this work. We’re just accommodating, and as is Drew. I mean its uh It’s been, I use the term seamless, it really has been seamless. Sandy has given me everything. She’s
amazing. I couldn’t have chosen a better boss to work with and just her human respect is just incredible. I couldn’t ask for anything else. My dreams have come true. [Tears] Just been a wonderful experience and that to continue. Just uh…I couldn’t be prouder of Reana and such. Yea this is nice. Sorry [tears]. I think this whole experience we’ve
learned alot from it. We’re glad that we’ve done it. I think it’s a great experience. We wouldn’t have met Reana. And you never know who has what talents until you give them a try. He’s a model employee in all aspects so we’re very happy to have him. I’m really happy to have Dane as an employee
of R.G.I.S.. I think he brings a lot to the workplace and he’s become a role model. So I think every time we do have a diversity candidate come on board, we get a little bit stronger and it helps us as an organization and hopefully helps us to better meet their needs as well as employees. We love Holly. She is truly part of our team
and I think we have benefited from working with someone who has a disability. If an organization as large as RBC can do it, everyone can do it.

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