By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun April 10, 2014

0324-FEAT-STARBUCKS-CHINA

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities has given its inaugural Outstanding Employer of the Year Award to Starbucks.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , PNG

VANCOUVER — The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities has given its inaugural Outstanding Employer of the Year Award to Starbucks.

The coalition says a committee selected the branch of Starbucks at 1500 West 2nd as the winner after it was nominated by employee Robert Navalta.

Starbucks has recruited seven employees with disabilities across Metro Vancouver, according to the coalition.

The Progressive Intercultural Community Services, a not-for-profit group which provides community services such as finding work or housing as its honourary mention winner, nominated by employee Maninder Sanghera.

The coalition’s executive director Jane Dyson said the award was created to celebrate employers who support people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment, and in the hopes it will inspire other employers to hire people with disabilities.

Navalta, who has a developmental disability and works twice a week stocking shelves, cleaning and greeting customers, said he was delighted with the outcome of the nomination. “I am so happy that Starbucks won this award,” he said, in a statement Thursday. “It’s a really great company to work for. I hope to work here for a very, very long time.”

Starbucks Store Manager Jon Dodge added: “Robert picks up the pieces, when we all fall down.”

According to Statistics Canada, the employment rate for people without disabilities between the ages of 15 and 64 is 74 per cent, but it drops to 56 per cent for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Vancouver+Starbucks+wins+outstanding+employer+award+disabilities/9724258/story.html#ixzz2yYenwbbj