Canada’s largest distributor of industrial, safety and fastener products, Acklands-Grainger, and a social enterprise operated through the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), Action Packaging, have agreed to pilot a significant work contract.
The social enterprise has already begun the project, with plans for a review in about three months. If the project is progressing with the necessary speed and accuracy, Action Packaging could have the option of completing the contract, which is slated to be done for August 2013.
The contract involves replacing and packaging serial numbers for a new coding system for Acklands-Grainger products in all of its 175 stores across Canada.
Steve Withrington is manager of BACI’s employment services and training (BEST), which includes operation of Action Packaging.
He notes the contract, once it’s in full swing, would mean regular employment for between six and eight people that BACI serves.
“This is just incredible,” Steve says.
It could also allow for more people to learn new skills, as some take on the Acklands-Grainger work and others step in to fulfill other contracts the social enterprise holds.
Plans for the arrangement began after an Acklands-Grainger representative dropped off a business card at BACI. Steve visited the Burnaby store, which is right across the street, where he learned the store was looking for some office support, but further conversation revealed the additional opportunity with the entire organization.
Steve drafted a proposal on behalf of Action Packaging for the contract, and received the word only days ago that Acklands-Grainger was willing to work with the social enterprise. Steve says he understands there were other competitive bids, and the distributor chose Action Packaging in part because it is a social enterprise.
The new deal is one example of how BACI’s employment service is expanding and creating more and more meaningful employment for people who have an intellectual disability.
— More to Come
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