The Arc Northern Chesapeake region honored GXO Logistics, Inc. of Aberdeen with the Employer of the Year award. The award was given to the company because of its commitment to competitive employment opportunities and creating an inclusive workplace for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to a statement from The Arc.
“We are honored to be named ‘Employer of the Year’ by The Arc,” said Maryclaire Hammond, GXO’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “The inspiring work of the group has benefited the community immensely and we are lucky to be part of it. Our team does an outstanding job of welcoming these new members and helping them become full contributors to our operations. We look forward to expanding our participation in this exceptional program to our other sites across the rest of the country.
GXO hired three employees from The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region program in 2020 and added a fourth in 2021. All are material handlers, working in carton formation, replenishment and entry/receiving.
“They really have a philosophy of an inclusive work environment and they’re constantly trying to find ways to employ people with different abilities,” said Joseph Hughes, director of employment services for The Arc Northern Chesapeake region. . “They see the value in people with different abilities and they embrace it.”
After interviewing these three employees, GXO hired them all on the spot because they were highly productive and eager to work to the point that their differing abilities were an afterthought, said Jason Rapposelli, principal at GXO.
In addition to helping their clients find employment, The Arc’s employment coaches visit employees twice a month to check on progress and offer general support.
“In every field there are supervisors, managers and other colleagues,” said Marsha Depo, The Arc NCR job coach. “Each station is filled with natural supports who work alongside, guiding and helping where needed. Everyone seems to understand, support and appreciate our partnership.
Over the course of their employment, job coaches have seen these employees grow and gain confidence over time, Depo said.
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“Recently, I worked 10 shifts with one of the new hires as part of his support,” Depo said. “His confidence skyrocketed from day one. She went from “I don’t think I can do this” to “I’m the best and I want to learn new positions within the warehouse”.
Going forward, GXO plans to use this partnership with The Arc to expand to other Arc chapters across Maryland, Hughes said.
“They want to look at other GXO locations and partner with other Arcs,” Hughes said. “What they want to do is kind of use us and our initial partnership here to create a model.”