Burger 55, a custom gourmet burger restaurant located in Penticton, BC, has seen much success since opening in 2009. They have been featured on Food Network Canada’s “You Gotta Eat Here”, and recently moved into a larger location where they employ approximately 15 staff. “I always wanted to incorporate people with disabilities into my business and give them a chance”, says Chris Boehm, the owner of Burger 55. With the help of the Neil Squire Society and their Working Together Program, a wage subsidy employment program for persons with disabilities, Chris has done just that by hiring Penny, Brian, and Kevin.
“The hiring process was super easy”, shares, Chris. “I was approached by Penny and Brian, and jumped on the opportunity to give them a chance to work with us. Kevin came by through a different program and it failed so we decided to sign them up through the Neil Squire Society.”
“My body is sore a lot, sometimes it slows me down a bit”, says Penny, who has fibromyalgia. Despite her disability, she has been a long-time volunteer in her community as a canvasser for the Canadian Cancer Society and the Paraplegic Society, and as a sewing teacher for the Brain Injury Society. Penny was seeking a paying job that would allow her to work 2 to 3 hours a day, and give her the flexibility she required with her disability. Burger 55 was a good fit. Penny was a bottle recycler for years at Burger 55, before being hired to take on janitorial duties, “I worked my way into the job,” says Penny, “Chris hired me because I would go that extra mile!” Chris describes Penny as a “hard worker who has been in the Burger 55 family for over 2 years now.” Chris adds, “She has always helped out, even before being officially hired.”
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