At the Heart of Agrium2017-11-032017-11-16http://pasc-calgary.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/pasc_clear2x.pngProgressive Alternative Society of Calgaryhttp://pasc-calgary.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20170518_laterjay_000144x.jpg200px200px
Carmen is a breath of fresh air at Agrium. She passes through the halls with ease and a light, confident step. Everyone who passes has a “Good Morning, Carmen” or “How are you today, Carmen?” And she, in turn, responds with a smile and a cheerful reply.
She walks confidently, even into the CEO’s office, with no trace of shyness or discomfort. The level of comfort Carmen feels at Agrium is not induced or forced. It’s easy to see the relationships she has made are natural and lasting. Even though hundreds of employees work at Agrium, there is a sense of community that ties the staff together. In many ways, Carmen represents the inclusion that makes Agrium a great place to work.
Carmen’s first task of the day is to deliver the mail. There are multiple mailrooms and delivery points at this facility, spanning 4 floors. It’s a challenge to keep up. As Carmen gives the grand tour, she touches on the other parts of her job; delivering fruit baskets to the coffee stations, receiving shipments at the loading dock, replacing posters for upcoming staff events, maintaining the electronic coffee stations, and ordering the coffee supplies. In everything she does, there is a focus on taking care of people. It’s obvious that she takes great pride in this.
In her office, Carmen pulls out a large box of tags. She explains that once, during a plumbing failure in the building, the correct shut-off valve under the sinks was not clearly identifiable to the staff. She thought about it, and decided there was no reason the same issue should happen again. She proposed to the facilities staff her idea to label the valves under each sink. They agreed. Carmen set out to print and laminate tags of her own design for each sink in the building.
A Part of Something
As the tour wraps up and we come down the stairs, Carmen gently and cheerfully reminds me to use the handrail. Workplace safety is of utmost importance to Agrium and, therefore, it is important to Carmen too. She is always looking out for people, even those she’s just met. Stopping to check in at the mailroom, she shares in an inside joke (something about pink labels) and loud laughter. To work here is to be part of something, and Carmen is right at the centre of it.
The Progressive Alternative Society of Calgary is a not-for-profit organization in Calgary, Alberta that connects persons with developmental disabilities with community engagement and supported employment opportunities. PASC provides 3 interconnected services for participants: secure and retain competitive & gainful employment, access professional and community resources for financial and personal needs, and achieve engaging and satisfying lives in the community through opportunities to contribute, learn and pursue personal interests.
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