Meaningful employment leads to personal growth


Inclusive hiring sets good example and expands social networks
Monday October 31, 2011 —
Ryan Rogers

Access to meaningful employment has a significant impact on the development and personal growth of the people the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) supports, and sets an inclusive example to everyone in the community.

BACI is contributing to create a more socially and economically inclusive community with vocational services like the BEST (BACI’s Employment and Supported Training) initiative, the Grape Box, Work Crew and Action Packaging.

The BEST program is a personalized service focused to meet employers’ business needs through positive and innovative employment solutions. It matches job-specific skills and provides on-the-job support and training to make employment opportunities more inclusive.

BEST’s employment specialists teach the people BACI supports step-by-step how to get jobs, says adult support worker Jonathan Bryce.

For example, performing services at a coffee shop or a gas station can be reviewed and practiced so the people BACI supports are comfortable with all the steps involved in performing services.

“Everyone should work and earn some money, even if it’s just part time,” says Jonathan.

He says even small part-time jobs are proving economic inclusion is moving in a constructive direction as they are becoming more common in the community.

Supervisor Alisdair Archibald says people with disabilities in the workplace are inspirational to the people he supports.

Two of the men he supports were delivering recyclables at the Burnaby Recycling and Yard Waste Depot when they were approached by an employee with disabilities who went out his way to approach them and says hello.

Alisdair says inclusive hiring practices increase the likelihood of the people that BACI supports connecting and building a rapport with people in the community.

“A lot of my guys have been really quite empowered by meeting this guy who’s already got a job that makes them more interested in actually going out there and trying it for themselves,” he says.

People with disabilities make dedicated, committed employees, eager to prove themselves in a competitive marketplace, like everyone else, says Alisdair.

“This fellow working at the recycling plant doesn’t need any supervision, he doesn’t need any help, he’s very outgoing and helpful to customers — what a great employee.”

If you have a story you would like to share with the BACI Blast, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 29, or e-mail ryan(at)



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