What’s Seinfeld got to do with CCS’ new Transitions Program?

By Monty Laskin, CEO, Caledon Community Services.

 Not only Seinfeld but Cheers too! These are two iconic TV sitcoms that left their mark on popular culture.

Naizil Canada is a proud Canadian manufacturer of vinyl-coated fabrics headquartered in Bolton. Frank Petizian, Director of Engineering also oversees staffing. After three months of an important position remaining unfilled despite pursuing every traditional hiring method, it was situation critical at Naizil. Says Frank, “Our small but dynamic workforce needs to remain positive and work together. The ‘fit’ for a new staff member is essential.”

Frank heard about Caledon Community Services’ (CCS) Transitions Program, newest employment training launched in October 2017. It promotes the employment potential of adults with disabilities. Frank was open to it. “I thought of Seinfeld and the George Costanza theory of doing the opposite,” he says, “What we were doing to hire wasn’t working so we contacted CCS”.

That led to two interviews. Frank credits the preparation the candidates received from their coaches at CCS, “They were well prepared, courteous and respectful, professionally dressed, on time. It was the opposite of what we had been running into with job candidates.”

It was refreshing, and as one interview wrapped up, the candidate asked Frank a pivotal question: “What do you like about working here?” He was convinced and hired him. “Before anything else, whoever we hire has to be able to do the job, be a fully contributing member of the staff or it isn’t going to work.” Frank stresses “The Transition Program sent us ‘Michael’ and he got the same treatment as any other new employee, the same support, training, orientation. Since hiring, things have been going great. Michael brought a calmness with him, always smiling, learns quickly, really enjoys his work, he is a very positive person, and it’s contagious.”

The three-month backlog built up in the lab, in preparing samples for testing while they struggled to find the right employee, is completely caught up. The next step is cross-training on the production line and then perhaps back to the lab to train on sample testing.

I’ve covered the Seinfeld connection. What about Cheers? Remember when Norm would enter the bar? He was met with a chorus of, “Nooorm”. Everyone knew his name; everyone welcomed him. At Naizil everyone knows Michael and he is warmly welcome. He brings a similar camaraderie, and like Cliff, another character from the popular T.V. show he shares, a wealth of information on the latest tech news and is a source of interesting knowledge for Frank and his co-workers.

“I appreciate CCS’ support not only of the employee but also of me, as an employer,” says Frank. Would he hire through the Transitions Program again? “Without question, I wish I had a second position open right now.”

Thankyou Naizil Canada for stepping up. If you’re an employer and want to discuss a Transitions candidate that’s the right fit for your business, contact CCS’ Transitions Program, Nicole Dumanski, ndumanski@ccs4u.org, or Maureen Tymkow, mtymkow@ccs4u.org, or call 905-584-2300.

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