Congratulations to 2015 Small Business Nominee, Diagnostics Biochem Canada. The Small Business Award recognizes a company under 50 employees, that develops and applies the concept of ability first and best practices in recruitment, retention, and talent management.
The annual Ability First Coalition Champion Awards celebrate and honour businesses, companies, individuals and organizations that have hired and retained people with disabilities in London, Ontario and surrounding area.
Nominee: Diagnostics Biochem Canada
Representative: Jonathan Hamelin, Business Development
Can you tell us a little about your business?
Diagnostics Biochem Canada (DBC), founded in 1973, is a leading niche manufacturer in the Immunoassay segment of the In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) industry. It is one of the top manufacturers of ELISA and CLIA diagnostic illness test kits in the world. Research and development is completed entirely in-house by MDs and PhDs. DBC’s mission is to provide the highest quality and unique diagnostic products to the clinical and research market sectors
How long have you been in business?
DBC has been in business for 42 years, since 1973.
How many employees do you have?
We currently have 25 employees, full-time and part-time.
Did you have any prior experience working with people with disabilities?
No, it was our first experience working with people with disabilities this year and it was (still is) a great experience! We have discovered hard working people that ask for nothing more than to give their best at work!
What were your initial feelings on hiring someone with a disability?
The fact that we never worked with people with disabilities before could have been a challenge. Fortunately, we were all really enthusiast about this new adventure and we could not have dreamt of a better experience.
Why did you decide to hire someone with a disability?
DBC’s number one mission is to help improve the lives of people by producing effective immunoassay kits. In that optic, we wanted to also improve the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with an enriching work experience.
How did you go about finding the right people for the jobs?
With the help of Leads Employment Services, the process was smooth and effortless. They found the perfect candidates for the positions we had to fill.
Can you describe one of the positions filled?
The kit assembler assistant position consists of helping kit assemblers with tasks like: punching foam for the kits, assembling of ice bags and assembling kit bottles, plates and protocols.
How has this employee worked out for you?
She worked out really well. She is one of the most efficient employees we have! Her integration with the group was effortless. If you ask any other employees about her, they will all say that her happiness and smile are contagious.
Were there any preconceptions you had about employing someone with a disability?
No. We have always known that people with disabilities are hard workers and only ask for a chance.
What are some of the most common misconceptions you hear other employers talk about when they learn you’ve hired people with disabilities?
People with disabilities are still people and all that we want is to offer them a great work experience. The fact that they have some sort of disabilities does not have anything to do with their ability to work efficiently. We are proud of hiring them, but we like to say that we hire people for their qualities not their disabilities.
How do you attempt to correct these misconceptions?
Employing people with disabilities is the best way to end misconceptions.
What is your advice for other employers?
Do it. This is a great experience that you will not regret.
Please finish this sentence, “I hire for Ability First because…”
Everyone deserves a chance to work and be independent. Providing work for people with disabilities is a great experience and we strongly recommend it to any employer.
What does being nominated for the Champion Awards mean to your business?
Being recognized for our work and the quality of our products is great. But being recognized for actually helping people to improve their lives is the best recognition a business can dream of.