Jennifer Benoit - HireAbility

Jennifer Benoit

HireAbility Vermont Employer | Associate Relations Manager, Hannaford Bros. Co., St. Albans

Photograph of Jennifer Benoit

What does HireAbility Vermont mean to you as an Employer?

To me, HireAbility Vermont is a resource, but not a traditional resource. It’s more of a resource to help you and help your associates, because they might know more about the associate than you do. They may be able to help navigate the employment waters a little bit better than you. I really am a firm believer in the possibilities for consistent employment for everybody. I like the fact that even if I can’t help someone with employment at the moment, I might be able to help them get their next job because they are more comfortable with the interview process.

Having HireAbility Vermont is like having the help to provide the support that we may not be able to provide in a workspace, with job coaches, or extra support people. Different people have different needs and sometimes it’s a little bit easier if they feel they have somebody to help them as well, like having a more difficult conversation. I think that in the traditional workplace you don’t necessarily have that. I think one of the best things is that HireAbility Vermont is always very open about any accommodations that a potential associate might need.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about hiring a person with a disability?

You know there’s that mentality sometimes that people just don’t want to work, but there are people that want to work, they just might need a little extra training, extra help, or support. We like knowing that HireAbility Vermont is there to support us as the employer as well as the employee.

How has working with HireAbility Vermont affected you personally?

My son is autistic. I know that my son eventually may need these supports as well. I would want somebody to take a chance on him, so I will take a chance on somebody who maybe needs a little extra training or needs a little extra support. Sometimes those people turn out to be the most reliable and best associates.


HireAbility February 4, 2022