Matts Batryn (left) from Abbotsford Community Services presents the Inclusive Employer of the Year Award to Marvin Robbins of the Abbotsford Centre. (Angelika Dawson photo)

Matts Batryn (left) from Abbotsford Community Services presents the Inclusive Employer of the Year Award to Marvin Robbins of the Abbotsford Centre. (Angelika Dawson photo)

Employers honoured for inclusive hiring

Excellence awards presented Oct. 19 in Abbotsford

Several businesses were honoured at the Inclusive Employers Excellence Awards on Thursday, Oct. 19.

The awards were presented by Abbotsford Community Services (ACS), AbbotsfordWORKS and Communitas Supportive Care Society.

They were give out at a breakfast event which was held at Abbotsford Centre and included an address from Mayor Henry Braun, entertainment by impressionist Ben Simcoe, a panel discussion, and a keynote address by Kristen Bower of Vancity.

In his address, Braun shared the story of Chandler, who works at Abbotsford city hall distributing internal mail, stocking printers and copiers with paper, and preparing meeting rooms.

“Chandler’s work is valued and he contributes greatly to our office culture,” Braun said.

Braun lauded the businesses present for their commitment to creating awareness and employment opportunities for people with diverse abilities.

The mayor also presented the award for Outstanding Commitment to Inclusive Hiring to Terry MacKay from Tradex.

Other awards presented were:

– Innovation in Inclusive Hiring to Vancity, accepted by Matthew Ramsay

– Creative Workplace Solutions to VSSL, accepted by Nathan Bosch and Darren Koop

– Corporate Leadership in Inclusive Hiring, accepted by Ahsan Bandeali from A&W, Jennifer Hunter from Home Depot, and Carly Ferguson from Abbotsford News

– Individual Commitment to Inclusive Hiring to Joelle Rowat of Carillion Canada

The 2017 Inclusive Employer of the Year Award went to the Abbotsford Centre and was accepted by Marvin Robbins.

A panel discussion included employers, employees and an employment specialist, who talked about the strengths of hiring inclusively and showed firsthand the difference it makes to people who live with disabilities.

Kristen Bower of Vancity gave the keynote address and talked about Vancity’s Workplace Inclusion initiative aimed at hiring people who live with developmental disabilities.

To learn more about inclusive hiring, contact Tamara Seebaran at Communitas Employment at 604-850-6608, Matts Batryn at ACS at 604-859-7681 (ext. 284), or Lesley Owen at AbbotsfordWORKS at 604-859-4500.