While some people refer to those with physical or mental limitations as "disabled," Dale Gibson prefers the term "challenged." And he includes their challenges in his own life by tailoring jobs for them at his McDonald's franchise in Richfield.
Gibson recently received a Golden Key award from Gov. Norm Bangerter at a luncheon sponsored by the Utah Governor's Committee on Employment of People With Disabilities. He was nominated for the honor by Community Careers, a job-placement service that receives federal and state funding.Gibson said he first realized that challenged workers were among his most valuable employees when he was a regional manager for several McDonald's restaurants in Eugene, Ore.
When he moved to Richfield in January, he decided to adapt the fast-food chain's McJobs program objectives to his own restaurant's needs. "It's the corporation's feeling we have a very valuable, untapped resource out there in people with challenges," Gibson said.
Now, Gibson employs three people with disabilities. Each has a specially tailored job description that benefits both the employee and the business, he said.
"It's a little effort on your (the business's) part, but I think you reap some fabulous rewards," Gibson said.