By Daniel E. McGonigle
The Caledonia Argus
The Minnesota Job Honor Awards, a new initiative aimed at recognizing Minnesotans who overcome barriers to employment, has announced its top honorees for 2017.
Along with three metro businesses, Caledonia Care and Rehab was the lone out-state winner of the honor.
“It was definitely an honor,” said Caledonia Care and Rehab administrator Marian Rauk.
The awards were presented in partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce at their “Hidden Talent Pools” conference on May 10 in St. Paul. Business leaders from across the state assembled to witness the ceremony, in which biographical videos described honoree efforts to win life-changing jobs.
“Minnesota employers continue to seek new solutions to our state’s workforce shortage,” said Doug Loon, Minnesota Chamber president. “Finding qualified workers is a persistent challenge among companies of all types and sizes. The Minnesota Job Honor Awards is one way to engage our state’s untapped workforce by shining a spotlight on success stories.”
Partnership is critical
Rauk points to her strong relationship with Work Force Development Center for helping make Caledonia Care and Rehab a strong local employer.
“The Workforce Development does all kinds of different programs to help us find qualified candidates,” Rauk stated. “It takes a whole team of people working together.”
The program also doesn’t discriminate based on one’s past.
“We have a willingness to give people a second chance,” said Rauk. “There’s nothing worse than having your past come up and keep you from an opportunity. People can always change and sometimes they need a little help to get through a tough time. We try to offer that to them here.”
Job Honor recognition
From the awards ceremony, the following write up was shared regarding Caledonia Care and Rehab.
“Sharing employer honors is Care & Rehab-Caledonia, a long-term care facility based in southeast Minnesota. Like most small-town employers, they struggle to recruit from a declining workforce. Citing a recent labor market study, Wanda Jensen, Operations Director for Workforce Development, Inc. said “We can count on about 12 new entrants into the workforce per county, per year in this area over the next ten years. Every available person needs an opportunity.” Care & Rehab-Caledonia’s recruitment strategy includes a willingness to consider candidates who have overcome life challenges: Challenges that sometimes result in an imperfect work history. “They have high expectations of job applicants,” said Pam Erickson of Workforce Development, Inc., “but as long as I’ve known them, they’ve been open to hiring people with challenges. They’ll give you a chance.”
Congratulations to Caledonia Care and Rehab
Kyle Horn, founder and director of America’s Job Honor Awards, congratulated this year’s honorees. “Minnesota is celebrating a new kind of hero,” says Horn. “These amazing honorees demonstrate that Minnesotans who overcome patterns of failure or challenges such as disability are not only highly qualified employees, but frequently they demonstrate remarkable work ethic and loyalty.”
About the Minnesota Job Honor Awards:
The Minnesota Job Honor Awards celebrates Minnesotans who overcome barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. MN-JHA’s mission is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across Minnesota, through the celebration of a new kind of hero. www.JobHonor.org. Lead sponsor of the Awards is ManpowerGroup, world leader in innovative workforce solutions.