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Innovation in Hiring: LEAP and Great Lakes Brewing Co. Use Job Carves to On-Board Candidates with Disabilities

Posted on 07/30/18 in General

Innovation in Hiring: LEAP and Great Lakes Brewing Co. Use Job Carves to On-Board Candidates with Disabilities
July 24, Cleveland, OH

Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Ohio City features all the typical sights of a successful brew-pub restaurant; Cleveland-inspired menus, guests eagerly talking, toasts of home-town beer, and attentive servers engaging with customers. What often goes unseen are the unique roles that some employees with disabilities are playing to help make the GLBC dining experience truly exceptional. Among them are the LEAP-inspired positions of server assistant and service assistant, both designed to expedite key restaurant services and give customers an extra dose of patron satisfaction.

Linking Employment, Abilities and Potential (LEAP), a Northeast Ohio disability employment service provider, sometimes uses the practice of a job carve, or customized position, to help people with disabilities contribute effectively in a competitive employment environment. People with disabilities can often participate successfully in workplace through unique employment approaches that allow them to meet a specific employer or customer need while advancing their own personal vocational goals.

“LEAP’s approach to helping people with disabilities secure employment is to make their search completely customized” says Julia Donovan, LEAP’s Employment Services Director. “That customization can even extend to the job itself. LEAP works with inclusive local employers, in this case, Great Lakes Brewing Co., to create unique or ‘carved’ positions that allow candidates with disabilities to apply their unique skills sets successfully in the workplace, often resulting in a win-win for the employer and job seeker”.

According to Becca Rittersbach, Human Resource Coordinator at Great Lakes Brewing Co., it is an approach that has paid off for both the restaurant and LEAP employment candidates. “We noticed that especially in the busy summer months, we had a lot of small customer service requests, such as straws and napkins, that required little customer interaction yet had a big impact in how the customer viewed their overall dining experience. LEAP provided us with some ideas for an innovative job carve, resulting in the server assistant and service assistant positions, and also provided us with some ‘work-ready’ candidates. These staff love coming to work each day and are now an integral part of our restaurant family, simultaneously supporting our servers and customers by meeting these unique needs” said Becca.

LEAP employment candidates have adapted so well to the Great Lakes Brewing Co. team that one was recently selected by fellow employees to receive the “Dortmunder Gold Award”, named after one of the restaurant’s signature brews. “Enhancing diversity in the workplace makes everyone’s workday better” said Becca. “Making job opportunities available to a wide range of candidates increases the dedication and morale of our staff, and makes Great Lakes Brewing Co. a more enjoyable place to work. Thanks to LEAP, we see potential for other job-carve positions and look forward to welcoming even more people with disabilities to our growing team.”

To learn more about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, or to find out how you or your company can consider adding job candidates with disabilities to your team, contact LEAP: 216.696.2716 or employmentservices@leapinfo.org. Visit LEAP online: www.leapinfo.org/employment.

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