Lisa is an onion ring aficionado.
With 23 years of service, she also happens to be the longest-serving employee at the A&W at 200 Street and Willowbrook Drive, and among the six per cent of workers with diverse abilities at the six A&W locations across the Langleys.
It’s because of their willingness to provide opportunities to Lisa and 10 others with diverse abilities, that a pair of Langley employers were recognized with a provincial award recently.
Nick Nuraney and John Archibald received 2017 Widening Our World (WOW) awards from Community Living BC (CLBC), which notes that “their courage, leadership, innovation and dedication in supporting their communities to more fully include people with diverse abilities,” makes them worthy recipients.
For the past two-plus decades, Nuraney and Archibald have been providing employment for workers with diverse abilities in the Langley area.
Nominator Raeleen Castle explained why she believed Nuraney and Archibald deserve the award: “Nick owns five-plus A&W franchises in the Langley area, and has hired one or more individuals through Partners In Employment to work at each location. Nick first hired Lisa 20-plus years ago to make onion rings fresh in-store. She is still there and is the longest employee at that store. John is the operations manager of the Langley stores and is hands-on in hiring each individual. When a new location is being built we are already in conversation about who will be hired upon opening.”
Since “day one,” Nuraney said he has implemented inclusive hiring practices at the local A&Ws.
“When I first started working at A&W, that’s the way we’ve always done things,” Nuraney said.
Employees with diverse abilities are hard workers and loyal, Nuraney said, adding “it makes me feel good that I’m giving somebody a chance, who wouldn’t necessarily be given a chance somewhere else.”
Archibald said support workers from Partners In Employment have given the A&W managers the support needed to help with the transition.
“Given the chance they (employees with diverse abilities) work hard and really appreciate it, and they really try to do their best for us, so it works for us and we really appreciate it,” Nuraney noted.
This is the ninth year CLBC has held the WOW nomination process, which invites people to nominate a person or organization whose work is building communities where people of all abilities feel welcome, valued and respected.
To learn more about Community Living BC, visit www.communitylivingbc.ca.