Submitted by Trillium Employment Services
Just over a third of working-age individuals with disabilities are employed in Washington. Many individuals face challenges when seeking employment, but one individual with the help of his team at Trillium Employment Services proves that he is capable and is breaking down stereotypes.
Executive Director of Washington Timbers, Sean Johnson, says “Ian is a tremendous asset for us here at Harmony Sports Complex, this is a 58-acre complex and every weekend we get thousands of people here and inevitably it leads to a lot of trash.” Ian is responsible for keeping the fields clear of debris and managing the trash.
According to the staff, inclusiveness has benefits both off and on the pitch. “Inclusion provides other viewpoints that you may not see from your lens and so the more people we can get to critically look at decisions we make in the club the better, and when you drill that down to a team everybody brings different skills and different assets to provide a winning culture. Inclusion allows you to have those different tools at your disposal,” says Johnson.
In Clark County, more than 420 people with developmental disabilities are working or actively seeking to join the workforce. Along with Washington Timbers, companies like Ryonet, Peace Health Southwest Hospital, Adventure Dental, Evergreen Credit Union and hospitality businesses have found benefits in hiring people with disabilities. Nonprofits like Trillium Employment Services exist as a resource for
businesses, helping them recruit and train their new employees for success.
Research shows that hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens businesses, increases competition, drives innovation, boosts staff morale, brings a positive impact to the community and gives an opportunity for an individual with a disability to belong and contribute.