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Workforce board seeks award nominees

The Dakota-Scott WorkForce Investment Board is taking nominations to recognize people who do great things to improve the workplace. The board will hold its annual award ceremony during the Legislative and Awards Breakfast Dec. 17.

The board hosts these annual awards to recognize companies and individuals who demonstrate best practices in the workplace. Send nominations to Mark Jacobs at by Nov. 10. Include the name of the business or individual and the reason for nominating them.

The Mark McAfee Friend of Workforce Development Award is for an individual who has championed workforce issues at the local, state or federal level. Past winners include Dakota County Commissioners Will Branning and Tom Egan, U.S. Representative John Kline, State Representatives Katie Sieben and Denny McNamara, Scott County Commissioner Bob Vogel, Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, Inver Hills Community College President Cheryl Frank and Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland.

The Business Champion Award is for an outstanding company that uses WorkForce Center services such as the job fairs, job postings or counselors. Past winners include: Goodrich Sensor Systems, UPS, Vital ConAgra Foods, Inc. - Store Brands, Waterous, Frontier Communications, Grazzini Brothers, Permac Industries, St. Gertrudes and Paychex.

The Bob Killeen Award is for companies' successful implementation of quality practices. Killeen was a tireless advocate for quality efforts and a former WorkForce Investment Board member. Past winners include Dakota Electric, Uponor-Wirsbo, Flint Hills, Rollx Vans, Ryt-way, Regina Medical Center, Performance Office Papers and Advanced Wireless Communications.

The Excellence in Youth Employment Services Awards is for organizations or programs, an employer or an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to and effectiveness in preparing young people, ages 14-21 to enter the workforce. Two awards will be presented: one for Dakota County and one for Scott County. This award is sponsored by the Dakota-Scott Youth Partnership Council in partnership with Dakota Electric Association and the St. Francis Regional Medical Center. Each recipient will receive an award of $500.

The Bob Klas Sr. Entrepreneur Award recognizes a local entrepreneur success story. Criteria includes: the entrepreneur's success as evidenced by business growth; the individual's leadership in the business and/or civic communities; and/or the mentorship they provide to other entrepreneurs. Fred Shaw won the award in 2010.

For more information, contact the Workforce Investment Board at 651-554-5633.