The pandemic has emphasized just how important, and previously taken for granted, frontline service and maintenance jobs are for the efficient function of our society.
Many employers in these industries continue to struggle with finding the reliable people they need to keep their businesses on track.
This extends to janitorial services and building management. The work is physically demanding and is essential to ensure a safe environment for a building’s occupants.
Evripos turns to people with disabilities
Founded in Ottawa in 1967, Evripos Janitorial Services Ltd. is a family-owned enterprise that operates across Ontario and Quebec. The business is anchored by the pride of a job well done and personalized attention to detail. It’s part of the company culture for staff to develop a sense of ownership in what they do and the properties they care for.
“Staffing is about finding the right fit, people-wise, personality-wise, with individuals ready for the responsibility of often being left to work independently,” said Cheryl Timpson, Evripos’s human resources and quality assurance programs manager.
The challenge in this industry, even before the pandemic, has been to find that right fit, with hires the company could rely on for the long term and make part of its extended family. About five years ago, Evripos began to widen the scope of its recruitment efforts to include people with disabilities.
This can be daunting territory for many employers. Management and current employees may require coaching to overcome unfounded fears and biases around inclusion and accommodation. Jobseekers with disabilities face their own hurdles related to feeling confident and ready to take on what may be their first real job.
Enter Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care
Ottawa’s PPRC is a bilingual rehabilitation company that serves as coach, facilitator and trainer for both employer and job seeker. Director of Rehabilitation Linda Simpson and the entire PPRC team, which includes a growing number of persons with disabilities, are masters at matchmaking. They want to ensure sustainable win-wins for all involved.
“According to Deloitte, 33 per cent of businesses are experiencing a labour shortage,” Simpson said. “Meanwhile, mental health and disability are touching the workplace more than ever before. This is a perfect time for organizations and businesses to think about their agenda for disability inclusion in the workplace.”
She considers Evripos a “Champion of Inclusion” for its efforts to hire a growing number of people with disabilities to address its labour challenges.
Reliable and hard-working
This just makes good business sense, said Timpson.
“Hiring through PPRC has created a win-win scenario for everyone,” she said. “Employees are proud to have access to an accommodating, open and inclusive work culture. While Evripos is proud to be able to offer employment to individuals who have so much to give and, despite any disabilities, allow their true qualities and capabilities to shine.”
The value for Evripos also rests with the long-term support that PPRC provides.
PPRC is a partner in the MentorAbility Program with participating employers to help jobseekers test-drive a job opportunity. PPRC also connects employers with other third-party inclusion events like The Human Library (taking place in Ottawa in November during Career Month).
“PPRC has done amazing things for people with disabilities, and for employers struggling to find reliable staff,” Timpson said. “Linda and her team build true reciprocal relationships to build those little successes that drive hope for bigger ones. Every business in Ottawa should be aware of PPRC and what it can do for them.”
What assistance do you need?
PPRC’s services are aimed at public and private sector employers of all sizes, as well as persons with disabilities (including newcomers to Canada) with any level of education. This includes individuals who may already have experience or skills in a specific field but need advice on how to return to work or start a new career while managing their disability. PPRC also provides fee-based Disability Awareness and Etiquette Training across Canada. Visit www.pprc.ca to learn more.