Celebrating employers who hire people with disabilities

Young adults standing in a row at work

As Canada marks National AccessAbility Week (May 30 to June 5), March of Dimes Canada would like to thank all the businesses, organizations and individuals that hire, train and mentor people who live with disabilities.

We asked a few of the employers our clients work for to share their thoughts on having inclusive workplaces.

Rebecca Noyes is the executive assistant at Bee-Clean Building Maintenance in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The commercial cleaning company has employed people with disabilities for a number of years. “If we need to fill a position, one of the first organizations we go to is March of Dimes Canada. They’re really good employees and our clients are very happy with their work,” says Noyes.

At ServiceMASTER, a commercial cleaning and emergency restoration company in Thunder Bay, manager Chris Gerow says he believes in giving everyone a chance. According to Gerow, who has received staff from March of Dimes Canada for 14 years, one of his current employees is so dedicated that he wants to work every day.

Jim Comuzzi, the owner of Rooster’s Bistro in Thunder Bay, has been hiring people with disabilities to work as dish washers, food preppers and bussers at his family-run restaurant for about 14 years. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Their disabilities don’t hold them back. Having a job gives someone a sense of purpose,” says Comuzzi.

WiseBuys The Renovation Store, in London, Ontario, actively works with March of Dimes Canada’s Employment Services staff to hire staff for their production facility. They’ve hired more than 10 employees since 2017. Brenna Arkin of WiseBuys has nothing but positive things to say about hiring people with disabilities. “I would say that working with you has been a great experience and you are so helpful in assisting us with finding quality employees. Ron (a current employee) has turned out to be such a valuable employee of WiseBuys, we wish we could hire 10 more Rons,” says Arkin.

Loretta Romano, the owner of Basic Packaging in Mississauga is also enthusiastic about the benefits of hiring people who have disabilities. “To be given the ability to face and overcome our disabilities is not only one of life’s greatest challenges, but also one of life’s greatest rewards. Working with March of Dimes Canada is definitely a reward,” says Romano.

When you hire a person with a disability, everyone wins

Jacob, a March of Dimes Canada client who was hired by Amazon YYZ1 in Mississauga, Ontario, recently became the site’s newest ambassador.

Matthew Wightman, the learning manager at YYZ1, said Jacob’s positive influence was evident from the beginning. “He quickly achieved learning curve, and even provided support to his peers during his learning phase. Jacob promotes a strong culture through his positive, energetic interactions. In addition, Jacob has focused on achieving safety, then quality, and then productivity; and has been noted to be a top performer in all.”

When asked about his job, Jacob said: “When I arrive in the morning, work or job is never in my vocabulary. To me, I’m here to play my role in not only developing myself as an individual, but also leaving a positive, lasting effect on my peers by supporting them in their own growth. As ambassador, I will continue striving to promote and achieve this philosophy.”