“Bringing Patrick on board was key to my success on the job”
I work for Bluewave Energy, a division of Parkland Fuel Corporation, the largest independent fuel distributor in Canada. I had heard from others about the value of inclusive hiring and with the company continuing to grow and expand, I was keen to explore how my team could tap into the talents of an inclusive workforce. Through my experience in hiring inclusively, I can confirm that employees with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder are not only productive but safety-conscious.
The entire company was very supportive of my decision right from the start. With the enthusiasm and commitment of my boss and the Human Resources office, and with the support of Canada’s Ready, Willing, and Able Initiative, I hired Patrick, a young man with an intellectual disability, in May 2016. Patrick worked with teams in both Sudbury and North Bay in landscaping, cleaning, and maintenance. As safety is a number one priority at Bluewave Energy, my team and I were initially concerned that on-the-job safety may be a challenge in hiring someone with an intellectual disability. To support Patrick, Bluewave Energy brought the lead person from their Health, Safety, and Environment Committee to Sudbury to provide Patrick with one-on-one training.
Bringing Patrick on board was key to my success on the job, and throughout Patrick’s contract there were zero issues from a safety standpoint. Furthermore, not only was Patrick productive, keen to work, and on time every day but the entire team gained a lot from working alongside him.