Savoura: Stéphane Roy's legacy

When he was president of Serres Sagami-Savoura, Stéphane Roy stepped up public interventions to encourage SME managers to hire people with disabilities to meet their labor needs.

"He left us a great legacy," admits Marc-André Laurier-Thibault, spokesperson for the company, himself suffering from cerebral palsy, about his boss who died tragically last summer with his son. 14 years old.

This legacy is a policy promoting job creation for people with any disability. "He always believed in it, it's a cause he cared about," said the first executive employee recruited by Savoura.

And it was Stéphane Roy who gave him his chance, barely a year ago ...

"He believed in my potential," he said with emotion. Stéphane said to me: "What are you good at?", And I became director of public and government affairs! "

A written policy

Marc-André Laurier-Thibault, 37, now wants to go further to make more room for people who, like him, have disabilities, whether they are hard of hearing or have autism spectrum disorders.

"We now have a written policy, which I wrote myself, on this social issue," he says proudly. And we have developed a strategy that will allow us to offer jobs to these people at all our sites in Quebec. We are taking action. "

He recalls that in Quebec, no less than 250,000 disabled people "are just waiting for that, to be offered a job that matches their talents".

"These people are happy to work, they are loyal to their employer and they deliver the performance that is expected of them," added the manager.

Challenges and solutions

While acknowledging that the labor shortage poses significant challenges, the university graduate in industrial relations believes that imaginative solutions must be found to solve part of the problem.

“For our part, recruiting people with a disability is a key element in this approach aimed at enriching our human resources while focusing on the diversity of skills,” considers Marc-André Laurier-Thibault.

It is not without knowing, however, that a change of mentality is essential even within SMEs, which hesitate to call upon their expertise and their great work capacity.

To "get things done," the manager of the Mirabel-based company is quick to speak openly about his own reality. "I'm taking the lead. It’s easier that way, "he said.

Surprisingly, he sees his own disability as "an asset," and has no embarrassment in telling others that he has cerebral palsy.

"To tell the truth, it gets their attention more when I start talking!" “, Considers the director at Savoura.

Recovering from shock

The Quebec company's decision to recruit from “non-traditional pools”, among others from temporary foreign workers, comes at a time when Savoura is slowly recovering from the tragic events of last July, when we learned that Stéphane Roy and his son Justin had perished in the crash of their helicopter.

"The business continues and we must move forward," says Marc-André Laurier-Thibault. Things fall into place. We toured the production sites and met the employees. You have to understand that we went through a difficult period, and a great stress, with all the media attention. "

SOURCE: La Presse

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