In the BRN newsletter, we tell the stories of local businesses that employ people with disabilities, the accommodations they provide, and the contributions those employees make. Read about our most recently featured businesses here.
As the eighth largest employer in Sioux Falls, the City of Sioux Falls employs over 1,300 full-time and 800 part-time and seasonal employees to provide essential services to residents and visitors to the community. These employees are located across 11 City departments such as Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Technology, Siouxland Libraries, Police, Fire, Communications, Facilities Management, Public Health, and many more. Their work is guided by the “One Sioux Falls” framework which emphasizes safety and health; innovation and foundational growth; accessible housing; workforce development; and engaging people.
The City’s full-time hiring process is governed by civil service, and is coordinated through their Human Resources team. The part-time and seasonal hiring process starts in Human Resources but the interviewing and selection process occurs in their various departments, with those hiring managers working directly with applicants with support from Human Resources team members as needed. Some examples of part-time and seasonal job opportunities include working with their swimming pools and aquatic centers (lifeguards, cashiers, and pool maintenance), street maintenance, and vector control.
In a survey, 151 City employees self-identified as having a disability of some kind. The City Attorney’s office includes an attorney specifically dedicated to advising the City departments on ADA questions and concerns. Their ADA attorney provides support to employees and applicants alike by actively engaging in the interactive process to understand how an individual’s particular disability may affect that person’s ability to complete the necessary work and identify any reasonable accommodations that may be provided.
The City has worked with Augie Access, a program through Augustana University, to assist with placing and supporting employees with disabilities. Supervisors who work with employees with disabilities report that those individuals enhance our City teams. In many cases, they bring positive attitudes and enthusiasm that are infectious. They become part of the team and feel that satisfaction that we all seek in our work. Supervisors say it’s definitely a win-win!
The City of Sioux Falls posts open jobs, both full-time and part-time/seasonal, on their website at https://siouxfalls.org/jobs. They welcome all applicants to apply online for their open positions. Their team in Human Resources is happy to assist with answering questions or providing additional information and can be reached at 605-367-8740 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dow Rummel has 278 employees, and six have identified as having a disability. Employees with disabilities work in food service, housekeeping, and as a receptionist.
The Human Resource Department is responsible for posting and attracting leads. Once someone applies, the applications and resumes are forwarded to the department managers to determine which applicants will be interviewed.
Some staff with disabilities have worked at Dow Rummel for over five years. Accommodations that have been provided include more breaks, sitting on a chair when doing certain tasks, or working shorter shifts.
Dow Rummel became a site for Project SEARCH this school year. There are 6 Project SEARCH interns. Project SEARCH is a unique business-led transition program for students with disabilities (18-21 years of age). Students who want to work have the chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills. The goal of the Project SEARCH program is competitive employment for each intern. Designed as an internship program, Project SEARCH affords students the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. They receive support with accommodations, adaptations, and on-the-job coaching.
Charlotte Hayes, Executive Director of Human Resources at Dow Rummel, shares, "The biggest benefit of employing people with disabilities is seeing our staff and residents embrace them. You can see it in the way they also push them to accomplish more difficult tasks that will stretch them! Employing people with disabilities affects our company culture by creating a sense of belonging for EVERYONE. It shows new and existing employees that everyone belongs here and is embraced no matter what!"
Currently Dow Rummel is hiring dishwashers and servers in their restaurant, deli and main kitchen. Applications can be found online at www.dowrummel.com. Click on "Connect with Us," then careers and volunteers. If anyone has trouble filling out the online application, they can drop their resume off at the front desk at Dow Rummel or email it to email@example.com. Charlotte is also happy to have applicants come in and assist them through the process. She can be reached at 605-575-0262.
Mary Jayne has been employed at Schulte Subaru as an office assistant for three years and is considered a role model to her coworkers because of her work ethic and enthusiasm.
You have most likely seen Mary Jayne with owners of Schulte Subaru, Mike and Sarah Schulte, on their commercial. Mike and Sarah's goal was to use this commercial to promote and encourage other businesses to employ people with disabilities. Sarah shared that many businesses have reached out to them wanting to know the steps to take to hire people with disabilities. Contacting Business Resource Network is a great place to start! We can assist with recruitment and provide staff training and resources to make the process as easy as possible. Call Vicki Stewart at 605-215-1760 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I witnessed first-hand, Mary Jayne is fully included in the workplace culture at Schulte Subaru. They hosted a birthday party for Mary Jayne's milestone birthday in their conference room and invited all employees to attend. It was a great celebration!
Mary Jayne makes key chains for Schulte Subaru's customers and puts files together for the finance department two days a week. Mike Schulte worked with LifeScape to customize a position to best fit Mary Jayne's skills and abilities. Her coworkers describe her as a "hard worker who is very conscientious about completing her tasks in a timely manner." I think all businesses are looking for employees like that!
The St. Francis House has 30 employees, including five who have disabilities. Employees have physical, mental health and developmental disabilities and hold the titles of Assistant Director, Volunteer Coordinator, House Assistant and Kitchen Assistants. St. Francis House provides workplace accommodations such as part-time hours and flexible scheduling. They have also purchased special equipment such as a large monitor for a past employee with a visual limitation and a platform desk to allow for sitting and standing.
Executive Director, Julie Becker, has been hiring employees with disabilities at the St. Francis House for 16 years. She feels her mission is to help people with disabilities obtain and maintain employment in the community. "Once I became the individual who could make the decision on hiring, I have been committed to creating a diverse work environment, which includes working with people with disabilities. During all these years, we have observed employing people with disabilities has been a significant part of the success of our agency. Our employees are dedicated to coming to work each day, are grateful to be part of our team and have so many amazing talents to offer to our agency. The St. Francis House would not be who we are without all of our past and current employees," states Julie.
The St. Francis House has worked directly with Vocational Rehabilitation for many years to recruit employees. Several clients of LifeScape come to the St. Francis House to volunteer their time. These volunteers assist with the kitchen team to make sack lunches for their guests who take them to work. They appreciate the opportunity to come into St. Francis House and give back to help others.
When asked if employing people with disabilities has affected their company culture, Julie shares, "Most definitely. We have many guests who complain about their jobs and our employees with disabilities share their struggle with finding supportive employers in the community. This helps our guests see things through someone else's experiences. Our employees who have disabilities share their experiences in staff meetings and have made some of the best suggestions to improve our operations."
The St. Francis House is always looking for people who want to be a part of their team. There are part-time and full-time positions available. To apply, stop by for an application, email Julie at email@example.com or apply online at www.stfrancishouse.com. If there is a need for assistance filling out an application, there are supportive employees at the St. Francis House that can provide help.
MasterBrand has 14,000 employees throughout their various locations and over 500 at their Sioux Falls location. Approximately ten employees have disabilities that include hearing loss/deafness, physical disabilities and mental health issues. All positions are available to those with disabilities, but currently there are employees with disabilities in manufacturing and office positions. One associate with a disability has been with MasterBrand for over twenty years.
Reasonable accommodations that have been provided to employees with disabilities who need them include flexible work and break schedules, written instructions, special equipment as needed and sign language interpreters for company meetings. MasterBrand has always been a disability friendly employer. They continually work on providing a diverse and inclusive workplace for team members.
Currently MasterBrand has several production positions such as builders, sanders, machine operators, warehouse workers, and sprayers they are trying to fill in Sioux Falls. The positions are available on both the 1st and 2nd shift. Applicants can apply online by going to https://smrtr.io/5b_iQ. If anyone needs assistance filling out an application, they can call 605-335-8600 or stop in at 700 E. 48th St. N.
Yakkity Yak Coffee Shack has twenty plus people in their “brew crew.” Over twenty of them have cognitive and physical disabilities. Their entire “brew crew” performs all tasks required on the job including making coffee, smoothies, frappes, cleaning the shop, taking orders, and operating the cash register.
In their building process, they made a conscious effort to ensure access for everyone, because their intent from the beginning was to employ people with disabilities. When asked what the benefits are of employing people of all abilities, owner Kathy Luke stated, “We have an exceptional team of people with different abilities that make our entire operation possible. Our ‘brew crew’ has a heightened awareness for great
customer service, cleanliness, and overall attention to detail. They appreciate the opportunity to work and be challenged in their job.”
A handful of their employees have job coaches from various agencies to assist them on the job. The coaches stop by throughout the week to check in with their clients.
Even though all positions are currently full, Yakkity Yak Coffee Shack is always taking applications. They have applications they can send via email along with a traditional paper application. If anyone needs assistance completing an application, assistance is available. They review applications in the order they are received, and interview as needed.
Raven Industries employs 1,317 people in 20 locations. Thirty two of their employees have disabilities including both physical and mental health disabilities. They are Team Members in manufacturing, clerical and professional positions. All positions are available to job seekers with disabilities. Some accommodations that have been provided to their Team Members with disabilities include flexible schedules, frequent breaks, and special equipment. Raven Industries has also adjusted work spaces to accommodate employees with disabilities.
Raven Industries has always been a disability friendly employer. They continually work on providing a diverse and inclusive workplace for Team Members.
Dawn Ingalls, Human Resource Manager at Raven Industries, states, "We recently worked with Vicki Nelson, District Supervisor of the Division of Rehabilitation Services Sioux Falls office, to better understand the on-the-job training and job coaching services that are offered to candidates and employers. It was very helpful to understand the roles and responsibilities of each!"
In the midst of COVID-19, Raven Industries' hiring has slowed down a bit, but there are still positions available. Interested parties can view their open positions at https://ravenind.com/careers. If candidates need assistance completing the application, they can call 605-336-2750.
Dawn Ingalls adds, "Our Team Members with disabilities are great! They are committed to their responsibilities within Raven Industries and to the success of our business."
Dairy Queen at Crossing Place currently has 22 employees and 7-10 have some type of disability. Employees have learning disabilities, autism, cognitive disabilities, and hearing impairments. Employees with disabilities clean, work directly with customers, and make products. Some team members with disabilities have moved up to management level. General Manager, Shawn Beck states, “I enjoy working with all employees to find their abilities and work with them to be the best they can be.”
Shawn has provided accommodations such as flexible scheduling, written instructions, verbal instructions, guided learning and pairing individuals with a work partner. Shawn has been the General Manager since February, but the store had a long-standing relationship with LifeScape and other organizations to employ individuals with disabilities.
Dairy Queen has cleaning positions available from 7:00-10:00 AM on weekdays and Saturdays. There is also an open night-time team member position. People can apply online at www.fourteenfoods.com by clicking the employment tab and finding their location at 5001 S. Crossing Place. If people with disabilities need assistance with applying, they can come in for a paper application and receive assistance.
When asked about the benefits of employing people with disabilities, Shawn says, “People with disabilities are fun and amazing people to work with. They are really hard working to make sure they do their best.”