Success Stories – Employer Perspectives
In order for jobseekers to be successful at work, their employers must also experience success.
At Connect, our focus is on facilitating employment relationships that benefit employers and employees equally. Whether you’re looking for a candidate to fill an unmet need in your business, or someone who is the perfect match for your work culture, we are committed to finding the right candidate for you.
Red River Air Brake – Recognizing Opportunity & Potential
Glen Kehler knows first hand the important role that work plays in a person’s life. Eight years ago, facing retirement from his supervisory position of 22 years at CN, Glen decided to create a new way to supplement his income – and Red River Air Brake(RRAB) was born.
As owner and CEO of Red River Air Brake, Glen recognized a need in the market for re-conditioning air brakes for trains. In 1996 he opened the doors on a reconditioning facility that repairs air brake components for the railway industry. Starting with a staff of three, the company has since grown into a thriving business employing 25 staff. RRAB is the only private company in North America that does this type of work.
When Connect approached Glen about employing one of our clients in 2003, he recognized an opportunity to fill a need, both in his company and in the community. Realizing he could use a staff to perform cleaning in the facility, he created a new position, and filled it with a client from Connect. The process of successfully integrating an individual with an intellectual disability into RRAB presented its share of challenges, but Glen and his staff have met these challenges, and have managed to develop a valued place in their business for a Connect client.
Connect is proud to partner with Red River Air Brake, a company that clearly demonstates a committment to the community, and to the principles of supported employment.
Tall Grass Prairie Bakery – Ingredients That Make A Difference
Tall Grass Prairie Bakery believes that good bread is made when you work with Mother Earth in a spirit of gratitude and responsiveness to her needs as well as our own. This philosophy is seen in the making of their bread products— from the sourcing of organic ingredients to the sourcing of locally grown products. At Connect, we have also seen this philosophy transcend into their commitment to employing persons with intellectual disabilities.
We have had the good fortune to have a number of clients work with Tabitha and Paul Langel – partners of the bakery. Lynda B. was employed at their Forks location as a dishwasher and food preparer. Right away in the interview, Tabitha knew Lynda would be a great fit for the position. She describes Lynda as a “foodie”- which is her term for someone who loves food and working in the food business.
When asked about their commitment to hiring persons with disabilities, Paul says “ We believe that business should reflect our community and Lynda is a part of our community. We have to invest in our larger community. I don’t believe it when people say they can’t (employ people with disabilities).” Paul says often businesses have a philosophy of inclusion but it isn’t implemented. But at Tall Grass, he walks the walk. It’s a value driven business……making value driven business decisions based on their community-based, holistic approach to everything they do.
Their staff are as committed to these beliefs as Paul and Tabitha. They are very caring and inclusive and often invited Lynda to events with them outside of work. There was a real commitment to help Lynda learn new skills as she became ready. “Food testing” was eventually added to her job duties as she had the knack for knowing when the recipe was JUST RIGHT!
Along with their business partners, Tabitha and Paul have created a successful and profitable business as well as an inclusive and diverse work environment. These ingredients make them an employer that we value and celebrate in our community.