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Employment agency breaking barriers for marginalized people on Vancouver Island


A temp agency on Vancouver Island is taking a compassionate crack at the labour shortage.

Spoonies Employment Agency is dedicated to finding safe workplaces for marginalized people, including those with disabilities and 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized communities.

“As a queer person, it’s very important to be in a job that makes you feel validated and makes you feel like you can just be yourself,” Spoonies employee Em Granley told CTV News.

Granley used to work in construction, where she said she was occasionally subjected to cutting comments on worksites. She got a gig through Spoonies in October, working at a Camosun College cafe.

“I don’t have to pretend to be somebody else. I don’t have to fake anything,” Granley said. “I can just be me.”

The agency vets every employer. Its founder has navigated accessibility barriers and championed mental health breaks for some team members.

“We’ve had people come to us from very, I hate to say it, but, toxic industries where they were treated badly and now they are thriving,” said Veronica Greer, who founded Spoonies in June.

Often, employers are happy to make accommodations based on someone’s abilities, Greer said.

“They just wouldn’t know how to do so without the help,” she added.

Granley’s employer has worked with five other Spoonies employees.

“We want to show them that the [food service] industry is for everybody,” said Greg Brown, Camosun College’s food service director for Aramark.

“If we’re not taking care of our people, we don’t have a business.”

Brown credits Aramark’s contract with Spoonies for helping keep Camosun’s food facilities afloat.

“We’re able to open all six of our outlets every single day to full capacity and create a really welcoming, happy environment that people have a good time working at,” he said. Top Stories

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