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Commerce City restaurant working to make the workforce more inclusive

Posted on June 3, 2024 by

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. The Dions restaurant in Commerce City has around 80 employees. But one of them, in particular, is an inspiration to all the others.

Joey Marabito has a developmental disability and communicates in sign language, but its not a barrier, according to his boss, general manager Cherise Nieto.

I saw his work ethic and his passion and decided that I needed him as often as he was able to work, Nieto said.

Dions participates in the Colorado Restaurant Associations Restaurant Ready program, which offers apprenticeships for youth and training to make the workforce more inclusive.

Stacy Griest, with the association, said its important to bring more people into the industry, as restaurants are still trying to rebound from the hiring challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Its being open to all employees, really thinking about their skills and looking at what an individual can do, and how you can build them into your team, Griest said.

Nieto said her biggest learning curve was realizing that Marabito wanted to be treated like every other employee. He gets employee reviews, feedback, and recognition just like the rest of the staff. His colleagues even chose him to receive an award for upholding their value of clean and comfortable location.

He just shows up with excellence, truly, every day. He has a burning desire to do a great job, and that is inspirational, Nieto said.

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