Langley’s school district looks for ways to add more staff diversity

The board approved creating a new position to find jobs for people with developmental disabilities.

The Langley School District has created a new job to increase its staff diversity.

The district partnered with the Langley Association of Community Living (LACL) and its LACL Partners in Employment program in winter of 2016.

The goal is to establish jobs within the district that could be filled by people with developmental disabilities. Now the district has created a one-year job, called a diversity custodian assistant, to help facilitate this with an eye to having the position last beyond a year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to model the hiring of persons with developmental disabilities,” noted Director of Learning Support Services Lisa Dolinski. “We often place students in work experience programs around the community while they are students but this time we can potentially hire one of our own graduates.”

The district worked with its union CUPE 1851 on how to accomplish the hiring diversity goals, an initiative unique to Langley. The appropriate number of hours will be determined when an individual candiate is identified for a given position.

“We are not aware of any similar programs in B.C. districts,” said district communications manager Ken Hoff.

The district did not require Ministry of Education approval but did consult with the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association.

“Establishing unique employee positions in a unionized workplace is not a simple process,” explained director of Human Resources Barry Bunyan.

The district and local now have a Letter of Understanding )LOU) on accommodating this new initiative.

The LACL will work closely with the district to assess the position and its physical demands. An individual will then be hired based upon the recommendation of potential candidates from the Langley Association of Community Living.

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