International Day of People with Disabilities happens annually on December 3rd. This year we are recognizing the day by highlighting the team at Kent Building Supplies and their partnership with Ready, Willing and Able (RWA).
RWA is a national partnership that is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The team at RWA works with businesses to find candidates that would suit their workforce needs. RWA helps candidates throughout the entire hiring process and even once they are on the job. "RWA has been really amazing to work with. They are there to help facilitate interviews, assist candidates with employment assessments, and check in regularly once the associate is hired." says Alexa Dixon, Human Resource Business Partner at the east Saint John Kent store (and key contact with RWA).
Kent started their partnership with RWA in May 2021 when they were beginning their summer hiring. Over the summer, candidates from RWA worked along with the other summer students at Kent as associates before heading back to school. One associate, who had graduated high school, stayed on with the team and continues to work as an associate at the store on the east side.
"Working with Ready, Willing and Able has been so amazing, the organization has allowed Kent to hire some hardworking, dedicated associates who come to work with a can do attitude and a smile. The representatives from New Brunswick Association for Community Living and RWA are passionate about the program and have worked with us to ensure a very smooth transition from candidate to associate. I highly recommend the program and am truly pleased with the partnership between RWA and Kent," adds Alexa/
The team at Kent is proud of their partnership with RWA and continues to look for opportunities to expand to other locations.
About Ready, Willing and Able
Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) is a national partnership of Inclusion Canada (formerly the Canadian Association for Community Living), the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and their member organizations. Funded by the Government of Canada and active in 20 communities across the country, RWA is designed to increase the labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, the difference between success and failure lies in the talent and diverse skill set of your workforce. There are approximately 500,000 working age adults with intellectual disabilities or ASD. This untapped workforce can help address current labour shortages while making businesses stronger, more diverse and more productive.