WOW Awards 2023
Community Living BC (CLBC) is pleased to announce the four employers selected this year to receive a Widening our World (WOW) Award for their inclusive hiring practices and workplaces.
This year’s WOW evaluation committee included self advocates, family members and CLBC staff. Due to the number of fantastic nominations, the selection committee had to make some difficult decisions in selecting the following employers to receive an award this year:
Keith Larson – Redux Nutrition, Chilliwack
Nominated by: Paul McCracken, Chilliwack Society for Community Living
Keith has been the plant manager at Redux since 2021, and he oversees a very diverse group of staff. With the Chilliwack Society for Community Living, Keith provided work experience for three individuals who have now been hired permanently. Keith has worked to promote them and build their skills and confidence (one individual now operates a loader). Keith believes everyone should have a chance to try new things and build new skills, and that everyone at Redux benefits.
Bobbi Hunt – Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Abbotsford
Nominated by: Amy Saip, Community Living Society
Bobbi manages a diverse staff in the company’s Abbotsford and Maple Ridge locations. She is welcoming of people of all differing abilities and employment readiness. Bobbi and her team find innovative and creative ways to harness the talents and skills of the people they hire in a way that makes sure everyone feels included and welcome in their workplace. For example, one individual is highly organized. He now takes care of the shoe department, making sure that everything is in order and in the right place.
Kylah Bryde – North Peace Leisure Pool, City of Fort St. John
Nominated by: Shari Ashdown, Fort St. John Association for Community Living
Through an agreement with the Fort St. John Association for Community Living, Kylah and the team at the North Peace Leisure Pool have supported Andrea over the last five years to grow from her initial cleaning position to supporting her to complete her bronze cross in swimming and first aid so she can take on more tasks at the pool. Kylah supports Andrea and others to build their confidence and skills through patient and caring support. Next, they are working to hire Andrea in a permanent union position!
Brendon Osborn – Cintas, Langley
Nominated by: Tami Logan and Candice Dutton, Inclusion Langley
Brendan believes that given the right work environment everyone can make meaningful contributions to a workplace. In 2021, initially working with Inclusion Langley to provide work experience for two people, Brendon has now hired them plus three more individuals. Brendon and his team make the workplace welcoming and he has an open door policy, and encourages people to share their perspectives, thoughts and lives. He believes that hiring inclusively benefits the individual, staff, the company and the workplace.
We congratulate the recipients, and all employers who were nominated this year. We also thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination to recognize an employer who is championing inclusive workplaces in communities across B.C.
These employers – and the many who were nominated – are some of a growing number of employers who recognize the benefits of inclusive hiring. CLBC hopes to see this number continue to grow. As of 2023, only 21 percent of the people CLBC serves are employed – and so many more would like to work.
Since 2009, CLBC has presented WOW Awards to recognize British Columbians who are creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives, have rich relationships and choices in how they live and work.
This is on CLBC website go the link here