Developmental Disabilities Association Awards Starbucks Canada with Jobs West Employer of the Year Award

Star Employees with Down Syndrome at Starbucks - Starbucks Canada wins Jobs West Employer of the Year Award 2009/2009

Vancouver, Canada, July 18, 2009 --( Starbucks Coffee Canada has won the 2008/2009 Jobs West Employer of the Year Award. The award commemorates an employer that has made significant efforts to support and employ people with developmental disabilities. Starbucks has earned this award by not only proactively seeking and employing people with disabilities, but also by supporting them through developing specific training programs and tailoring individual jobs to suit their abilities. Starbucks currently has employed 3 individuals with developmental disabilities in Vancouver and is still interested in hiring more.

At 26, Patrick Costello, a client of Jobs West with Down Syndrome, was matched up with Starbucks as a café attendant through the supported employment services of Jobs West. Costello typically works 2-3 days a week doing 2 hour shifts and has been working for Starbucks for over a year now. “Patrick’s great with customers and staff; very friendly and everybody loves him,” says Sabrina Vasilliou, Costello’s manager at Starbucks on Cambie Street, Vancouver. “He’s very organized and efficient and takes a load off our shoulders.”

Kirsti Inglis, assistant director of Jobs West Employment Services at the Developmental Disabilities Association concurs with Vasilliou. “Employing people with developmental disabilities can be very beneficial. They’re able to increase a company’s overall efficiency through job carving, tend to have flexible work schedules, low turnaround and are hardworking and reliable.”

“Patrick is a diligent hard-working partner that we’ve come to count on,” adds Diana Black, Cambie Starbucks assistant manager, “But it’s his fun-loving enthusiasm that always makes us smile.”

Jobs West is the supported employment program provided by the Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) that assists job seekers and employers to find potential matches. The DDA is a non-profit charitable organization with over 50 programs across Vancouver and Richmond. The DDA strives to enable people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential.

The Developmental Disabilities Association is a non-profit charitable organization that provides programs and services for people with developmental disabilities in Vancouver and Richmond BC.


Victor Tang
Communications and Marketing Manager
Developmental Disabilities Association
604.233.5407 or
Developmental Disabilities Association
Victor Tang