When Forward Greens’ (previously known as West Village Farms) Founder Ken Kaneko first started the indoor vertical farm in east Vancouver back in 2017, he had no idea that there was a nonprofit organization in the Clark County area that worked with businesses to integrate people with intellectual disabilities into the workforce. It was by chance that the organization – Trillium Employment Services – reached out to Kaneko this past January to see if the company was interested in the idea of supported employment.
“Forward Greens is such a great Trillium partner and inclusive employer,” said Donna Gunnels, a senior employment consultant with Trillium. “They were very open to the idea of supported employment when I first contacted them around last January. They’ve (since then) hired three individuals, and job coaching looks different for all three.”
According to the nonprofit’s website, Trillium has been serving people with disabilities and Washington state employers since 1983. The organization connects people with disabilities to employment opportunities, and the organization’s mission is “to promote inclusive community and employment opportunities.” The staff at Trillium work closely with area businesses and applicants to ensure a quality match and long-term success.