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Albert Lea Area Schools, Freeborn-Mower Co-op recognized as Best Places to Work

Albert Lea Area Schools and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services were among 14 companies representing Freeborn, Mower, Rice, Steele, Goodhue, Olmstead, Houston, Dodge, Fillmore and Wabasha counties recognized last week as the Best Places to Work in southeast Minnesota, according to a press release.

The Best Places to Work awards program was a commissioned study by Workforce Development Inc. The purpose of the program was to recognize some of the best employers in the area and to provide vital information to companies about the practices they use to attract and retain employees. Each company participating was required to complete a 40-question survey that allowed their employment practices to be analyzed by the consulting firm of Personnel Dynamics Consulting of Florida. Every company participating in the survey will receive a detailed 20-page report detailing the information on their company and the results of the survey. 

The data was measured on such parameters as: turnover, rate of growth, promotion rates, employee evaluations and feedback, percentage of employee injured, diversity of management, benefits offered, training expenditures, paid days off and increase in pay. The Workforce Development Inc. and sponsors joined forces to bring the Best Places to Work program to southeast Minnesota.

In addition to Albert Lea Area Schools and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, other companies recognized were the following:

• Custom Alarm/CCI

• Semcac

• Smart HR

• Werner Electric

• Cooperative Response Center

• Double Tree

• Gauthier Industries Inc.

• GEOTEK

• Pace International

• Berquist, A Henkel Company

• Hearth and Home Technologies Inc.

• Pace Dairy Foods

According to the release, Freeborn-Mower Cooperative has a 1.5 percent employee turnover rate, has 100 percent of its employees participating in a voluntary 401(k) retirement program and profit sharing program and offers pickle ball courts, healthy snacks, chair massages and cooking lessons.

Albert Lea Area Schools has a 4.7 percent growth rates, a 15.5 percent employee turnover rate and has 86 percent of its employees enrolled in a health insurance program. It offers a state-sponsored retirement plan.

Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services was recognized as one of the 2017 Best Places to Work in the small employer category. Pictured are Judy Jensen and Jim Krueger. – Provided