"The economic and social benefits extend to the individual employees, the business, and the community" states Dirkse CC President, Heidi Dirkse-Graw. A recent example of disability diversity is the local success story of Phillip Beers.
Phillip is a 21 year old graduate from the Beaverton School District’s Community Transition Program and a proud employee of Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton. Upon meeting Phillip, one can’t help but smile; his infectious grin and warm, friendly personality are contagious. Phillip doesn’t let his intellectual disability hinder him from his goal to work and he readily accepted the position of Dining Room Attendant at GVB.
With exuberant pride, Phillip prepares the dining room for customers by cleaning tables, booths and chairs, rolling silverware, and setting the stage for the lunch crowd. “When I’m here, it’s clean – it’s clean because of me. It’s my job”. His confidence shows in his work and as Manager Alex Kircher states, “Phillip definitely takes pride in what he is doing for us, and the rest of the staff really appreciates his help in getting the restaurant ready for our guests.”
Golden Valley is family owned and started in McMinnville in 1993. They serve fine, hand-crafted beers and food made from scratch using local, organic ingredients. Alex and his team not only provide an excellent venue for a business lunch or family dinner, but they have created an inclusive and diverse environment by hiring Phillip. Alex shared, “I’m very happy that we were able to make this work with Phillip and hope that he will continue to grow and learn new skills with us.”
This is also the goal of the team at Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc., an agency contracted with The State of Oregon, with the mission of connecting motivated job seekers who experience disabilities with local employers who have a business need. Business Development Manager, Cindy Bahl introduced Phillip to Alex and proposed this partnership. “Golden Valley Brewery is an excellent example of the type of partnership we love to have with employers in the Portland Metro area”, said Ms. Bahl. If you would like to join GVB and Dirkse CC in the mission of creating a diverse workforce and in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness month, please contact Ms. Bahl today at 503-258-7715. #InclusionWorks