“Young adults with disabilities are good employees: dedicated, receptive, attentive, and conscientious”

interview with Alexandru SOARE, working point coordinator, SIMACEK company

Why did you make the decision to integrate people with disabilities into your team?

Our company offers services in the field of professional maintenance and cleaning. For example, I coordinate a working point in a well-known shopping center in Constanţa, with a large surface and an intense traffic, so we need employees who want to work and who are disciplined. We have found out that people with disabilities meet these conditions. Currently, I coordinate 30 employees; 10% of them are people with disabilities, who were hired through the Services Center for Supported Employmentopened by HAO in Constanţa.

How have the young adults handled their duties?

Excellent! Although they have different disabilities, namely speech, physical impairments, and mental disability, all three have a proactive attitude, they are constantly looking to push their limits, and to learn new things. Also, the young adults are receptive and attentive to perform their duties properly. The adaptation of young adults to the status of employee was fast and without any particular problems, due to these aspects, and to the involvement of your colleagues.

How did you collaborate with our team?

The young adults received support from your team in order to prepare for the interview,in the employment procedure, and after they started to work. Your colleagueshave kept in touch with me and the young adults, and have been checking up periodically on the progress made by the three young men. Also, they have given me support whenever I needed it. For example, one of the young men has severe speech impairments, so when it seemed to me that a certain aspect was not understood by him, I have asked for the support of your colleagues. They have intervened, and talked to the young man and, together, we have made sure that things were clear. I have never had any problems with them, as we acted in the way previously mentioned.

How is a working day for these young men?

Just like for any other our employee. Every evening, they receive the assignments for the next day and I explain them what they have to do. In their case, more patience is needed in order to make sure that everything is understood correctly. After that, they do very well on their own, in the sectors that are assigned to them. They are checked by both me and the mall representatives. I am glad to tell you that there have never been any complaints against them. In our company, the teams on shifts are changed periodically, so they do not always work together, yet every time they manage their job duties.

How were they received by your colleagues?

Before the young men showed up for work, I had a meeting with my team in order to “prepare the ground.” I asked them to behave in a civilized manner and to treat their new colleagues with respect. I emphasized that life is unpredictable; even if we are not born with a disability, we can acquire it along the way, so it is recommanded to be understanding and to have common sense. I asked my colleagues to avoid staring and annoying them in any way. Fortunately, there was no dissension. On the contrary, they help each other!

Do you recommend to other entrepreneurs to employ people with disabilities? Why?

We wholeheartedly recommend to other employers, regardless of their activity field, to work with people with disabilities.Most of them really want to work and to be socially integrated. They deserve a chance. I am sure that my company will hire other young adults with disabilities. Also, I have friends, entrepreneurs in the “food and drink” industry, who seriously consider integrating people from this social category, after the pandemic.

Thank you for your kindness to have us interview you and we wish you good luck in business!

The project “Labour market Employment for young Adults with a Disability – LEAD” is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.


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