Theresa Flannery is the co-owner and catering director at Ode to Food & Drinks and has been there since it opened on 4/1/2015. She is also responsible for hiring employees. They have 25-30 employees. Four of those employees have disabilities that include deafness and intellectual disabilities.
Employees with disabilities have dishwashing and food preparation positions and have been employed since the restaurant opened. Staff with LifeScape and Minnehaha County Human Services introduced some of the employees with disabilities to Theresa and assisted with on-the-job training.
When asked what the benefits of employing people with disabilities are, Theresa states, “They are pleasant to work around! They remind us to slow down and be more appreciative. They love their jobs and they are hard workers. They quickly become part of the Ode family."
Ode to Food & Drinks has provided reasonable accommodations to some of their employees with disabilities. They include: flexible work schedules, frequent breaks, written instructions, photo instructions and a white board for immediate communication.
Ode to Food & Drinks currently has some possible part-time positions to fill. If someone is interested, they can stop in and pick up an application at 300 N. Cherapa Place in Sioux Falls. If a person needs assistance filling out an application, it is best to stop in between 2 pm-4 pm.
Kelly Johnson and her husband Mark purchased HoneyBaked Ham in July of 2016. As of today, they have 10 employees. This increases to 14-18 during peak holiday times which includes Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They have three employees with disabilities.
Employees with disabilities work in different areas. One area that is very important for their business is production. This includes glazing, wrapping and pricing hams. One employee works hard in production to produce beautiful hams for customers. The other area is catering fulfillment. They need good people who can look at and fill catering orders. Another job that one of their employees does is expedite sandwiches in the café during lunchtime. He enjoys interacting with customers and has excelled in focusing on customer service. Two of the three employees were hired by the previous owner. Both of these employees have been employed with HoneyBaked Ham for over 11 years. Kelly states, “Mark and I were thrilled to continue working with them because of our previous experience as foster parents. We worked with many children and teenagers with disabilities.”
When asked what the benefits of employing people with disabilities are, Kelly states, “Dedication! We are blessed to have employees that are dedicated and want to do their best. They want to work and are incredibly dependable. One of the greatest benefits is to our family personally. Owning our own business gives us the opportunity make a difference in our own community. This was one of the main reasons we wanted to own our own business. We can take the time needed to help someone who may just need a chance. With such a small number of employees we have built a team who care about each other, work hard, and accept each other for who they are. That is the greatest blessing of all!”
HoneyBaked Ham currently works with Volunteers of America and McCrossan Boys Ranch to find employees and get assistance with on-the-job training or job coaching. If challenges do arise, they work directly with the employee and their job coach.
HoneyBaked Ham has open positions in both production and catering. If someone is interested, they can stop in and pick up an application from their store located on the corner of 57th and Louise Avenue.
Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Heather Christion has been the Human Resources Manager for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Arena, Convention Center and Orpheum Theater Center for 11 years.
These four facilities have 600 employees including 12 with disabilities. The disabilities include cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, epilepsy, diabetes and autism. Most employees with disabilities work in the Event Services Department as ushers and ticket takers.
Heather says they have not had to provide many accommodations for employees with disabilities. They have provided extra breaks for some and chairs for those who are unable to stand their full shift.
Employing people with disabilities was a practice before Heather became the Human Resources Manager and she kept it going. When asked what the benefits are of employing people with disabilities, Heather states, "They are all so friendly and truly enjoy their positions here. They greet the staff and our patrons with a smile and welcoming attitude and they are all very reliable."
Heather has worked with Vocational Rehabilitation and LifeScape to hire people with disabilities. If they don't have the right fit for someone in events services, they sometimes refer them to food and beverage services.
Currently, the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is hiring for Event Services Staff and Premium Level Staff. All positions are part-time. Applications can be obtained at the administrative offices of the Arena and the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center or resumes can be emailed to SMG_RESUME@premier-center.com.
Thank you Denny Sanford PREMIER Center for employing people with disabilities.
GrandStay Hotel & Suites
Jenny Krueger has been the General Manager at GrandStay Hotel & Suites in Tea since July. Prior to this she was a Floating Interim Manager.
GrandStay Hotel & Suites has 13 permanent employees and 3 employees that are available for special events. Currently, Lizzy (Elizabeth) Groft is their only employee with a disability.
Lizzy works in Housekeeping and often helps with breakfast.
When first employed, Lizzy worked one-on-one with their Head Housekeeper. Now she works independently and follows up with the Head Housekeeper or Jenny. Jenny takes her cues from Lizzy as to what, if any, accommodations are needed.
Jenny has always employed people with disabilities. She states, "They are often my favorite people! The benefits of employing people with disabilities is they fill a position that benefits the hotel. It helps somebody that is willing and able to work to actually have a job. I love having Lizzy work here. I can count on Lizzy 100% to be here, on time and in a good mood."
Starting in March, GrandStay Hotel & Suites anticipates needing two more housekeepers. They have a paper application or one can be emailed. Lizzy had her aunt help her fill out the application as well as the first day paperwork.
Thank you GrandStay Hotel & Suites for employing people with disabilities.
Nyberg’s Ace Hardware
Nyberg's Ace Hardware in Sioux Falls is our featured business this month for employing people with disabilities. They were recently announced the recipient of the 2016 Governor's Outstanding Private Large Employer of the Year Award. Kevin Nyberg is the President of Nyberg's Ace Hardware and has worked for the family owned business for 35 years as a full-time employee.
The store has four locations with 122 employees. Four have some type of disability. The disabilities include physical and cognitive disabilities. People with disabilities work in custodial services, stocking and customer service.
The first person with a disability that Kevin hired was actually referred by a customer. The only accommodation that person needed was having pictures drawn and put up so he could remember what his various duties were. Kevin explained, "We drew stick men and it worked." That employee has been at Nyberg's Ace Hardware for 31 years. When asked what the benefits are of hiring people with disabilities, Kevin responded, "It is rewarding in the fact that you see them grow as individuals. I appreciate that they show up to work on time, care about what they're doing and are happy." Nyberg's Ace Hardware has worked with job providers in the community to assist with job coaching. He feels it is important for his employees to have a mentor for a short time to really learn the job if that is necessary.
Kevin explains coworkers welcome employees with disabilities and feel they add a positive aspect to the company. Everyone contributes as team members.
Nyberg's Ace Hardware has an online application process. If anyone has trouble filling out the application online, they can come into the store to fill out a paper application.
Kevin states, "We are very honored to be receiving the Governor's Award!" Congratulations, Nyberg's Ace Hardware!
Hy-Vee on South Marion Road in Sioux Falls is our featured business this month for employing people with disabilities. Tammy Jo Zingmark is the Human Resource Manager and has been in her position for 6 years. When she was first approached about hiring someone with a disability, she thought, "Why not?" The store has 553 employees and approximately 30 have some type of disability. The disabilities include brain injury, mental illness, autism, hearing impairments, deafness, and physical and cognitive disabilities.
People with disabilities work as stockers, demonstrators, courtesy clerks, and dishwashers. Others work in the meat department, salad bar, bakery, the pull-down crew, and casual dining.
Tammy Jo explains there have not been a lot of accommodation requests. The types of accommodations that have been provided include allowing people who cannot use the stairs to access the time clock, the ability to fill out paper time cards, providing stools to people who cannot stand for extended periods of time, and offering flexible schedules to people who use Project Car or the city bus to get to and from work.
Tammy Jo sees many benefits in employing people with disabilities. She states, "They have so much pride in what they do. They are very appreciative of being a part of the working world." She describes many of their employees as excited, motivated and proud. Tammy Jo says it's important to offer a comfortable, safe place to work where everyone can make a contribution.
Hy-Vee has worked with various agencies in the community to fill open positions, including LifeScape, Community Campus, Vocational Rehabilitation, and McCrossan Boys Ranch. These agencies provide on-the-job training, situational assessments, and job coaching.
Tammy Jo states they have many job openings available right now. Their Market Grille will also be opening soon so they will be hiring managers, dishwashers, and everything in between. Hy-Vee has an online application process, but if anyone has trouble filling out the application online, they can contact Tammy and she will provide assistance.