Nominated by Rise, Medtronic was named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, MOHR, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.
“We applaud organizations in Minnesota that employ individuals with disabilities,” said Julie Johnson, president of MOHR. “They are pillars of the community who recognize the value of this largely untapped workforce.” MOHR represents more than 100 disability service providers across the state.
In providing community-based services to individuals with disabilities, Rise has partnered with Medtronic for almost 40 years, said Nancy Hoff, senior sales and marketing representative with the nonprofit. Individuals from Rise have served Medtronic as office specialists, component assemblers, shipping, receiving and warehouse clerks, equipment sterilizers and mini-truck delivery staff.
“Medtronic counts on Rise workers and considers us as a ‘preferred labor resource,’” said Hoff. The Fortune 500 company also sends contract work to production locations operated by Rise. Its teams build material return kits, collate and assemble training kits and assemble mailings.
To help individuals with disabilities to be successful, Rise offers a number of services in connection with the work for Medtronic. Vocational evaluations, career planning, job placement and follow-up support are among them. These individuals go through the same on-the-job training as other hires at the company, Hoff explains. Some receive a follow-up support to assist with training, acclimation and transition periods.
Janice Grendahl is supported by Rise at Medtronic, where she’s worked for more than 30 years in different departments. “I am never bored and have loved my work, no matter where they ask me to work on what my job duties are,” she said. “I have learned a lot and know they like my work.”
Hoff said the interest in, and support from people at all levels in the company for the people from Rise is phenomenal. “It’s also genuine,” she added. One manufacturing operations supervisor told Hoff that individuals from Rise are the most enjoyable, hardworking people to work with, and their teamwork and common vision helps to produce “uncommon results.”
Rise has had three Medtronic executives serve on its board of directors during the nonprofit’s 40-year relationship with the company. Sheila Minske, Medtronic director of global supply chain strategy and innovation, currently serves on the Rise board. And, the Medtronic Foundation has supported Rise projects and special events since 1978.
Leaders from Rise were presented the Outstanding Disability Employer Award at the Celebrate Rise Gala event on Oct. 21.