Finley’s Bar and Grill is being praised for more than its selection of beer.
The restaurant was given the THRIVE Award of Excellence on Wednesday by Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS). The award, which has been handed out elsewhere in B.C. but not previously in Nelson, recognizes local employers for inclusive work environments as well as hiring individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment.
Joe Reiner, a customized employment counsellor with KCDS and the local THRIVE program co-ordinator, said owners Brent Holowaychuk and Tanya Finley have been key to helping people get back into the workforce.
“Brent and Tanya have been very inclusive employers and have worked with us at KCS to hire individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment, and have a long track record with hiring clients from KCS,” said Reiner.
Finley said they’ve been working with KCDS for about five years.
“This opportunity came up for us where we could help them integrate slowly into a workforce and whether they stayed with us long-term or whether they moved onto to a next stepping stone in the advancement of their career that they had originally chosen, we were able to help with that process,” she said.
Holowaychuk added the process was an organic one that included the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures. The pair have hired for a variety of jobs through the program, from maintenance to managerial positions.
“At this point it’s been a win-win,” he said. “There’s programs that support us through that training process and for some of these people, it’s really that first stepping stone job to get moving forward. Even if they don’t work for us in the long-term, we’re sort of that bridge step to future successful employment.”