Trapper’s Sushi has been named Vadis’ 2015 Pierce County Employer of the Year for their outstanding dedication to inclusive employment and community support. Trapper’s has been working with Vadis to offer employment to people with disabilities since 2013.
“I love people and want to help as much as I can and give back to the community,” said Trapper’s Sushi owner Trapper O’Keeffe.
Vadis CEO Christopher Christian recently presented a plaque to the restaurant’s owner, Trapper O’Keeffe, stating, “Trapper’s Sushi demonstrates an outstanding culture of inclusion in the workplace. Their leadership in the employer community is fantastic.”
The partnership between Vadis and Trapper’s Sushi began when a Vadis participant named Aaron was hired to work at the restaurant’s Tacoma location. Aaron began working as a dishwasher, and his work ethic made him quickly stand out. He was rewarded with more responsibility and began training as a prep-cook. Aaron now helps train new employees on top of his other duties.
Trapper’s Sushi didn’t stop there. Manager Simon Su continued to open up the restaurant’s doors to help more individuals with disabilities find their passion in life. When a Vadis participant is contemplating a future in the restaurant industry, Trapper’s allows them to intern for a short period of time to see if it’s a career they would like to pursue.
When Trapper’s opened at a new location in Puyallup, the manager, Corbin Traver, also showed a commitment to employing people with disabilities. Vadis Employment Consultant Shannon Hayes took some applicants to the restaurant for a working interview, and Traver did everything he could to make sure all the applicants felt comfortable and understood their tasks. The working interviews went so well that Traver hired both candidates.
“Once I began working with Corbin and his staff at Trapper’s, it was clear that they would do everything they could to make sure our (Vadis) participants were part of the Trapper’s team,” Hayes said.
Hayes continues to work with Trapper’s Sushi and continues to be impressed with their commitment to inclusive employment.
“When I spoke to Trapper and Frank Reyna (director of operations), they told me it was their belief that all people deserve the opportunity to work and be respected,” Hayes said. “More importantly, that it was their duty to help provide those jobs.”
Trapper’s commitment to philanthropy is apparent throughout all the restaurants. They support a number of charitable organizations and literally have the definition of philanthropy printed on their menus.
“I feel Trapper’s Sushi personifies the heart and soul of what we work so hard to achieve for our clients – respect, employment, and community,” Hayes said.