Justin Farano, a 22-year-old man with autism, has one piece of advice when it comes to looking for a job: “Trust in yourself, believe in yourself, have faith in yourself, and you will achieve your goal and you will achieve what you have been looking for.”
Farano is still revelling in the victory of finding his own dream job, five months ago as an administrator at Vancity. A company that prides itself on its inclusive hiring policies, Vancity creates a welcoming and respectful workplace where peoples’ diverse abilities are celebrated and cherished. Justin went as far to say it is the only place he felt like he belonged and the only place he needed to be. “I live in Pitt Meadows and it’s a long road to Vancouver,” Justin said of travelling one hour to get to his job in the city. “To me, it was the only job I needed, that suited me, somewhere I could feel like myself,” he added.
Justin is not alone in thinking he is lucky in this endeavour. His supervisor, Max-Antoine Fleurentin, said Justin has lived up to every expectation he had. “With Justin, I knew what I was getting when we hired him because he’s very outspoken and that’s what I love about him,” Fleurentin said, adding that, “he is a very friendly guy that everyone at the office enjoys talking and joking with.”
Vancity’s commitment to inclusive hiring is made possible by its partnership with posAbilities, an agency that helps people with developmental disabilities lead meaningful lives. Justin is just one of several new hires at Vancity supported by posAbilities Employment Service, which teams up with local businesses to provide people with barriers to employment opportunities within the community.
Fleurentin, who is also the workforce manager at Vancity, said being inclusive is in the company’s DNA, that it is something that is reinforced in each of its employees. “We make sure at Vancity that everyone treats people with respect, disability or not,” Fleurentin said. More than its open work environment, Vancity is committed to inclusion in a number of ways. Its Diversity and Inclusion Team works actively with organizations like posAbilities Employment Service, and its Disability and Wellness Consultant provides support to employees working with people with diverse abilities.