Every person with a disability has unique abilities that helps them adapt and grow, those strengths can be transferred to their on the job performance.  What they need is an opportunity to work, an employer champion who will give them a chance.

Jorde Hess is the owner of Hess’ Your Independent Grocer on Montreal Road in Ottawa.   He has owned the store for over a year and he knows that teamwork is essential for the smooth running of his store.  “It is important that our employees recognize when things need to get done, they work as a team to help each other and the customers” says Jorde. 

Ricky Fortin is a person with an intellectual disability, three months ago he was hired by Jorde to work at Hess’s Independent Grocer.  Ricky works with the cashiers and the customers at the front of the store helping to bag groceries and filling orders. He carries out groceries for the customers and he likes the work. 

Ricky was looking for meaningful employment but because he is a person with a disability he was having a hard time finding someone who would give him a chance.  Ricky picked Performance Plus Rehabilitative Care Inc. (PPRC) to be his service provider and to help him find work.  PPRC provides vocational services to persons with disabilities and uses on the job supports to help bridge the gap between employers and job seekers.  Graziella Forbes was assigned to be Ricky’s caseworker and together with Maureen MacArthur they found Jorde Hess.  As a result of that meeting, Jorde decided to give Ricky an opportunity to work.  “He is doing well,” says Jorde, “he arrives on time, he is pleasant with the customers and he does his work.”

Jorde has worked with other service providers in the past and he was not shy about saying that he was disappointed with the service.  But he says that his experience with PPRC has been different. “This has been a smooth transition, the feedback has been open and timely and the folks at PPRC have been responsive to our requests,” says Jorde.  “Other providers brought clients in and we never saw them again, but with you I have been impressed, you are always here to help.  I would work with PPRC again and other employers should too.”

The partnership between the client, the service provider and the employer is key to helping job seekers and employers create opportunities where one would not normally have looked.

PPRC offers placement services for persons with disabilities at no cost to the employer. This helps employers remain competitive, gain market share, and grow their business. This hidden talent pool is smart for business and provides solutions where everyone benefits. Contact Linda Simpson at lsimpson@pprc.ca or at 613-748-3220. Visit www.pprc.ca for more information.