Sodexo at Framingham State University recently received an Employer Recognition Award from the Greater Worcester Employment Resource Collaborative (GWERC).
The award recognizes businesses, institutions, and organizations in and around the city of Worcester that go “above and beyond” expectations in promoting the hiring of qualified persons with disabilities.
GWERC recently held a breakfast in May at Worcester Technical Vocational High School to honor employers.
Community Enterprises, a member of GWERC for approximately five years, meets once a month to discuss potential job leads. There are members of local businesses in attendance that keep everyone up-to-date on job openings at their business. Also it is a place where job seekers can come in and bring their resume for feedback.
Nulu Nalunga came to Community Enterprises from MRC last fall with a food prep certificate in hand.
And the job hunt began-Nulu was motivated, Sodexo at Framingham State University was contacted, and set up a meeting with the operations manager Stoyan Mihnev, and told him of Nulu’s qualifications. After thinking about it for a bit, asking lots of questions, he did what most employers should do. He took a chance and called her in for an interview.
Not only did he take a chance -he and his staff showed a tremendous amount of patience throughout the entire training and hiring process. There was so much teamwork involved, and everyone was learning as they went along. Nulu needed 2 CDI interpreters, and 2 ASL interpreters for the interview process and training periods. It took twice as long, but paid off for everyone in the end.
Stoyan Mihnev and Eric St. Onge –Nulu’s direct manager helped Nulu get her feet off the ground any way they could by educating the staff, helping Nulu came up with different ways to communicate with her coworkers, and by providing reasonable accommodations so she could excel at her position and overcome communication barriers. She does everything now from cleaning, food prep and serving hot meals. She is now a 40 hour a week employee and even got a summer job working for Sodexo at EMC.
“Since her first day of work Nulu has been an exemplary team member,” said Sodexo General Manager Ralph G. Eddy at Framingham State University. “She has worked hard not only to excel in her job responsibilities but also to foster communication with her co-workers and supervisors. When I found out that we had been nominated I was honored. At the awards breakfast, when I found out that Nulu had nominated Sodexo, I was truly humbled.”