Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

Published 8:50 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

To the businesses named as Best Places to Work in Southeast Minnesota.

Congratulations to the four Albert Lea businesses that were included in the list released this week of Best Places to Work in Southeast Minnesota by Workforce Development Inc. 

Local businesses that received the recognition were Albert Lea Seed House, Arcadian Bank, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and the city of Albert Lea.

The purpose of the program is to recognize some of the best employers in the area and provide information to companies about the practices they use to attract and retain employees.

The awards program looks at things such as turnover, rate of growth, promotion rates, employee evaluations and feedback, percentage of employees injured, diversity of management, benefits offered, training expenditures, paid days off and increase in pay. Any company participating must fill out a 40-question survey that allows their employment practices to be analyzed. 

Several of the companies have previously received the recognition, and to win it again shows they must be doing something right.

To news that Big Lots will be opening in a portion of the former Shopko space later this year.

We were excited to hear the owner of Northbridge Mall and the former Shopko building this week announce the second of three new tenants for the vacated Shopko building. 

The company earlier this year announced Harbor Freight Tools would open in 18,500 square feet of the space, and this week, it announced Big Lots would take another 30,000 square feet. An announcement about a third business that would take the remaining 18,250 square feet is likely to come in four to six weeks. 

The new retail opportunities are welcome news to everyone who lives in Albert Lea, and we hope residents get out and support the stores when they open. 

These new businesses are only part of the exciting opportunities presently happening in the city. Seeing the development shows the confidence developers and the business community place in Albert Lea at this time. 

To plans to honor the three deceased students of the class of 2022 in the upcoming graduation.

We were pleased to hear Albert Lea High School Principal Chris Dibble announce this week at the school board meeting the plans to honor the three deceased students of the class of 2022 in the upcoming commencement ceremony. 

Dibble said there will be three empty chairs with flowers in the front row to commemorate the students lost throughout the years of the senior class.

The decision was made with the students’ families, student and school personnel. 

Experiencing the death of a classmate can be traumatic for youth, and we think that allowing this recognition will do much to help students — and their families — on their healing journey.