November 06, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Staff at the Graffiti Task Force headquarters managed to put their rollers down long enough yesterday, Nov. 5, to receive a certificate which recognizes the efforts made to create a inclusive workplace in the city.
Task Force director Ronnie Bouvier says she was honoured to receive the workplace diversity and inclusion award from the Open Door Group, but adds all her staff make their workplace inclusive, not just her.
"I know this is an employer reward, but to me it’s a staff reward as well. Everybody deserves an opportunity to give back to the community,” Bouvier says.
The Task Force employs members of the community who are living on a disability income and are looking to develop their skills.
Bouvier notes one of her employees is a woman with a brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome who originally began as an office staff member. The woman’s roll was mainly shredding paper and organizing files. But with a little coaxing and mentorship, she’s become the ‘graffiti detective’ who takes various bus routes throughout the city to document vandalism, the notes of which are typed up and delivered straight to Bouvier.
"She’s really graduated. She does not need to work with her support worker,” Bouvier says. "For the first time ever in 15 years she was able to save a bus ticket to see her family for Christmas. That’s a big difference than just coming in for shredding. She’s just a little social butterfly."
Bouvier employs others living on wage subsidies. She’s mentoring a man from Rayleigh along with another who is working on his social skills. Both are regularly invited to staff meetings and considered part of the team.
“My belief is that everyone who wants to contribute to their community should have an opportunity to do that. If someone can do two hours a week, that’s a lot of money if you’ve been on disability your whole life,” Bouvier says. “We all have skills."
Image Credit: Contributed
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015