Rob McKenzie loves his job at Second Look Thrift Store in Port McNeill. He proudly pointed out to me recently his framed 20th Anniversary Employment Award, received five years ago as he has been employed at the Second Look Thrift Store for more than 25 years. When I approached store manager Tish Tenney and explained I wished to feature Rob’s employment success story in an article, caught off guard, she exclaimed, “Rob? Great! He is my right-hand man!”
The 49-year-old Port McNeill resident has to overcome his challenges on a daily basis, but the pride he feels to have managed to earn enough money to live independently for all those years is obvious in the grin on his face. His goal, first and foremost, is to remain self-sufficient and to live a good life. When asked what he loves most about working at the thrift store, Rob answers without hesitation, “I like pretty much everything, the background music, the vacuuming, the cleaning and helping others.”
“People with disabilities are reliable, flexible, friendly, and above all, hardworking” says Tenney. Studies and employer experience show adults with disabilities work 98 per cent safer, stay on the job five times longer, have 86 per cent greater attendance records, create 20 per cent higher productivity, and 80 per cent of consumers prefer to support businesses with diverse workforces. In a nutshell, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense.
Businesses that employ people with disabilities are being recognized with a “Diversity @ Work” window sticker. The Second Look Thrift Store proudly displays its own sticker, presented for its dedication to and inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.
We offer individualized career exploration and job shadowing to ensure that our “protégés” meet their full potential in the workforce. We believe in real work for real pay!
If you are an employer looking for employees, contact Michèle Papp, Employment Counsellor, Community Links Supported Employment Program 250-902-7220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.