Rugby, ND - Big Pauly's Pizza was recognized by the Department of Human Services as a regional recipient for the North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation "Employer of the Year."
This award honors businesses who look past disabilities and focus on the strengths and abilities of the people they employ.
"I love it. It's like family here."
Arlyss Rude has worked at Big Pauly's Pizza for almost 10 months.
"I know I'm saying that and it's not because my bosses are standing there," Rude said. "I do, I love it."
Arlyss's disability comes from a combination of fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and some mental health issues.
But at Big Pauly's, she can thrive.
"It's kind of hard to find people that want to work in a small town, they just don't have that work ethic," owner Paul Urias said, "When we found Arlyss and we had the opportunity to find a position for her, we were blessed."
"I do a little bit of everything, said Rude.
"We have an understanding that she has a certain amount of hours daily, but if it takes her longer to complete her task, no rush. Do your job, sit down if you need to, but still you'll get your set hours. And she's happy with that, she's comfortable," Urias said.
The teamwork between Arlyss and her boss is what made Big Pauly's Pizza the regional recipient for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Employer of the Year award.
She said the job keeps her busy, but also helps her get by.
"If I would have been at home doing absolutely nothing with my companion dog passing away, I would be very, very depressed if I didn't have this job," Rude said. "And Pauly, he's a great man. I know he acts tough, but he is a great man."
Urias said, "Because she is with us daily, she does feel like family. We couldn't have asked for a better friend as well as an employee."
Well above average temperatures this afternoon!