Minnesota employers honored for creating workplaces that welcome people with disabilities
Minnesota employers who have made exceptional efforts in hiring and retaining people with disabilities were honored at an Employers Hiring People with Disabilities Month event on October 10th. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recognized the employers below for their efforts and invited them to share their hiring and retention best practices so that they could, in turn, be shared with other Minnesota employers.
The 27 employers honored at the October 10th event were asked to share examples of the creative hiring practices they have used to attract employees with disabilities and successfully fill openings at their companies. Some employers offer new employees a trial period in which to try different jobs and find the best fit. Others provide flexibility so that people can arrange work schedules to accommodate their transportation or other needs.
The companies were also asked to share their reflections on the intangible benefits their businesses have experienced as a result of hiring employees with disabilities. The employers noted that hiring people with disabilities has created a more diverse culture, with all employees learning to look at work and processes from a different perspective. One employer noted that people with disabilities have brought joy and kindness to the workplace.
They also shared how their businesses have reaped very tangible results of employing people with disabilities. One example: decreased employee turnover and increased company loyalty. One manufacturing employer at the event noted how his business saw the turnover rate in one department fall from 72% to 7% because of a greater focus on hiring people with disabilities — and another employer stressed that the minimal costs of accessibility accommodations are far less expensive than turnover costs.
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove and Assistant Commissioner for Workforce Services Carol Pankow also asked the employers what DEED could do to better support businesses in hiring people with disabilities. We’ll share feedback gathered at this event after we’ve had a chance to compile and analyze all the great input we received.
American Engineering Testing, Inc.
Children's Hospital and Clinics
Hyatt Hotel Minneapolis
Larson Engineering, Inc.
Mackin Educational Resources
Minneapolis VA Health Care System
MN Department of Transportation
S & L Team Cleaning
MN Attorney General’s Office
Touchstone Mental Health
From the St. Paul Pioneer Press November 3rd, 2019
"Steve Grove, state commissioner of Employment and Economic Development recognized S & L Team Cleaning owners Ninoska Salinas Lallier and Mitchell Lallier as Exceptional Business Partners for their commitment in the recruitment and hiring of qualified individuals with disability. S & L Team Cleaning is based in St. Paul. …
Medtronic was named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, MOHR. Medtronic is a medical device company based in Ireland with executive offices in Fridley."
Award Goes to S & L Team Cleaning
Steve Grove Commissioner of Employment & Economic Development recognized S & L Team Cleaning Ninoska Salinas Lallier and Mitchell Lallier as Exceptional Business Partners.
This Award was for S & L Team Cleaning outstanding commitment in the recruitment and hiring of qualified individuals with disability. Commissioner Grove was pleasantly surprised to find out how diverse S & L Team Cleaning is.
Besides having 30% of their work force people of disability. The CFO, Ninoska Salinas Lallier, is a Women Minority Owner with 78% of the work force is made up of people of color and 47% are women working for them.
Alana Rice is a job-coach who has partnered with S&L Cleaning wrote. “This company truly has integrity. Mitchell, the owner, is deeply committed to inclusiveness throughout the community and has provided many individuals who have experienced adversity with life-changing opportunities to contribute to the workforce and better their lives. S&L Cleaning offers competitive salaries and Mitchell personally takes the time to get to know the employee and how they learn best. From my experience in the field, it is unusual to find a company that is as patient, understanding, and accommodating as S&L has been. S&L is doing great things in the community. This is a business truly stands by their values. We should know these businesses are out there and support them with the great, important work they are doing to better the community.”
It is important to S & L Team cleaning to make sure their staff is paid a fair wage of $15 or more per hour for part time cleaning. S & L Team Cleaning recognize the value of hiring and training people of disability. In hiring people of disability, we expect and get workers that can do a job.
Senator John Hoffman and Steve Kuntz (DEED) have worked very closely with Mitchell to provide the best candidates to be given a chance to find a good job, with good pay, and understanding company to work for.
One suggestion Mitchell gave to Commissioner Grove was to go meet with the different Chamber of Commerce and business owners to share the hidden talent we have in Minnesota People of Disability.
Local cleaning firm wins three awards
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR 2022
Mitchell and Ninoska Salinas Lallier
Posted Monday, December 12, 2022 9:46 pm
By Carol Mahnke
Good things come in threes. Mitchell Lallier can attest to that as his company, S & L Cleaning (1821 University Ave.), has won three awards in the past few weeks.
Each award cites the company’s efforts to hire handicapped, older and immigrant people and veterans. Fully 40 percent of his employees fall into these categories.
Ninoska Salinas Lallier, Lallier’s wife, is the financial officer for the company. Operations manager Tracey Chineth, has worked for S&L Cleaning for 11 years.
The award from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recognizes his “dedication and hard work.” Friends say Lallier is relentless in pursuit of his goals, as well as the goals of each of his 55 workers.
“Talent is in everybody, and it’s a matter of making it shine,” says Lallier.
Frank Herd, placement coordinator for vocational rehabilitation services of the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development Department, and Alanna Rice, career consultant with the department, say Lallier genuinely deserves the award from their agency for the way he helps his employees work out details of their jobs from transportation to adjusting work to deadlines.
The Ramsey County commendation recognizes efforts to coordinate limitations on earnings for disabled employees and the number of hours they worked. Fifty percent of workers at Ramsey East Government Center have some type of disability.
Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire describes Lallier, who is an old friend, as energetic and charismatic.
He has a “can do” attitude and, whatever he attempts, “he makes it happen,” she says.
“He cares about people,” McGuire adds. And the people who work for him know it, she says.
Kate, an employee, speaks French and is learning English. The young woman says she has a “good job” cleaning homes for Lallier. She came from the West African country of Togo three years ago. N. Lallier helps with translation and brings in other translators when necessary. Employees speak five different languages.
The company cleans libraries, state and county offices, COVID-19 Centers, homeless shelters, homes and other locations. Most employees work part-time to accommodate different abilities and needs. And many have two jobs.
Another employee says Lallier is “easy to work with because he really listens and encourages you.”
Cortez Smith, building supervisor for the Ramsey East Government Center, says the company is easy to work for because they listen to the employees and work with them to make them successful.
State Senator John Hoffman of Brooklyn Center says, “With Mitch, people with disabilities find a place where they can thrive and do a good job.”
Like his mother, the late Edith Lallier, executive director of the Ramsey Action Program (antipoverty program) in the 1970s and a founder of Headstart, Mitch Lallier “finds a pathway to success” for the people he hires, Hoffman says.
Hoffman said Lallier sees “potential in every person he meets” and “he finds a pathway to success” for everyone he hires. He creates flexibility in places where his employees need it, Hoffman explains.
Lallier also is a fixture at the Midway YMCA where he currently teaches swim classes for infants and toddlers and their parents. He also runs the state youth handball program, is part of the Friendship Club, and chairs the neighbor advisory board for the HHH Job Corps. He says he stays involved to help anyone who needs assistance to build their future.
Lallier says he and his wife feel very honored by the awards for their work for persons with disabilities.
Eagan S & L Team Cleaning company honored for hiring practices
S & L Team Cleaning owners Ninoska Salinas Lallier and Mitchell Lallier attribute the Eagan company’s success to investing time and fostering strong relationships with community groups.
The company recently received state and Ramsey County Employer of the Year awards for its efforts in employing the disability community and its dedication to the community. The was given because of the company’s continual effort to hire handicapped, older workers, veterans, and people from the immigrant community.
S & L Team Cleaning employs a 40% workforce who have some type of disability and can perform work every day providing cleaning throughout the metro area.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recognized the company’s dedication and hard work. He said in a press release that the staff cleaned libraries and county offices, two COVID centers and three homeless shelters during the pandemic.
S & L Team Cleaning strives to find new employees that meet the company’s goals and help the 55 employees reach their goals.
Lallier said employees have talents that they can foster to let those talents shine and help them be successful.
Frank Herd, placement coordinator for Vocational Rehabilitation Services of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Alanna Rice, a career consultant, said the company genuinely deserves the award.
The company trains each employee to make sure they understand their jobs, adjusting job duties for each individual.
Ramsey County Board Member Mary Jo McGuire said she is very impressed with the S & L Team Cleaning and how the company trains each employee with energy and and charisma.
“It seems that Mitchell and his staff have a we can do anything attitudes that if we set our minds to get it done, then they will make it happen for and with their employees,” McGuire said in a press release.
Tracy Chineth, company operations manager, has worked with the cleaning company for 11 years. She started out as a part-time house cleaner who was eventually promoted to her current position. She said this is due to the positive atmosphere and how the company helps everyone get to where they want to be.
In Ramsey East Government Center more than 50% of workers have some type of disability. The county and S & L set up accounts so that workers who have a disability or limited income are able to work. Ramsey County Board Member Rafael Ortega was impressed with the company because as a son of immigrants from Puerto Rico, he has seen the diversity of the company’s team.
The company helps with communication and translation, as it seeks a diverse workforce. There are five different languages spoken in the company, and the company hires job coaches to help translate with each cleaner. Most workers are part-time to accommodate different abilities and needs.
Cortez Smith, building supervisor at Ramsey East Government Center, said the company is easy to work for because they listen to the employees and work with them to be successful.
State Sen. John Hoffman of Brooklyn Park said: “With Mitchell, people of disabilities find a place where they can thrive and do a good job.”
Mitchell Lallier’s mother, the late Edith Lallier, served as the executive director for Ramsey Action Program, an anti-poverty program in the 1970s and was also a founder of Head Start. The pathway to success for the people the company hires holds on to the belief that there is potential in every person.
Lallier, a fixture in the St. Paul area for his work with the YMCA aquatic program, runs the state youth handball program and is part of the Friendship Club. He chairs the neighbor advisory for a job corps program.
Both Mitchell and Ninoska Lallier said the company has been honored to provide a better place for persons of disability that gives them opportunity and proves anyone given the chance can be successful in work and the community.