Local companies honored at Power of Partnerships event
A Message from Sheila Olson,
Chief Officer of Services & Programs
On December 5, 2023, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) was thrilled to welcome over 70 community partners to our St. Paul Campus for our Power of Partnerships event. Together we celebrated the many ways we work together to provide career opportunities for our program participants and strengthen our communities.
Partnerships with GESMN improve the range of career training and services available, foster new ideas and creativity, expand opportunities for our mutual participants and assist more participants in realizing their employment dreams.
Two employers were recognized for their outstanding partnership with GESMN at the event:
- Wilbert Plastic Services
- North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters.
Wilbert Plastic Services is an injection molding company located in White Bear Lake. As an employer partner, they have hired several participants from GESMN’s ReEntry program . Justice-impacted individuals often face deep barriers to employment and partners like Wilbert embody our mission and help to keep our economy moving forward.
“Wilbert Plastic Services has operated as a fair chance employer for many years and continues to be a pillar of hope for many justice-impacted individuals looking for a chance to prove themselves,” says Andrew Freeberg, Director of Community Programs at GESMN. “Wilbert Plastic Services not only provides ReEntry participants these chances but treats them with respect and dignity in the process. In turn, Wilbert Plastic Services acknowledges the many benefits of employing justice-impacted individuals and remains committed to offering our men and women a hand up as they return home.”
(Left to right: Sam Heimlich of North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and Sr. Director, Service & Programs, Dr. Keith Brooks)
(Left to right: Sheila Stejskal and Erica Neely of Wilbert Plastic Services and Sr. Director, Service & Programs, Dr. Keith Brooks)
North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters partners with GESMN’s construction training and YouthBuild programs, providing connections and networking opportunities with employers who hire and advance GESMN graduates.
“North Central States Regional Council (NCSRCC) of Carpenters has partnered with GESMN Construction Training for over a decade, providing education and exposure to the carpentry trades,” says Becky Brink Ray, Director of Career Training & Education at GESMN. “They coordinate tours of the Carpenters Training Institute for our participants, collaborate with informational interviews and provide valuable curriculum advice towards program enhancements. Most important, NCSRCC advances employment for our graduates by connecting them with placement and registered apprenticeship opportunities. We are grateful for their partnership and look forward to many more years preparing students for successful and rewarding careers within the trades.”
“GESMN produces people who are ready for union employment,” says Sam Heimlich, business representative for NCSRCC. “They have consistently prepared people that our industry needs. To watch them get into a union career and have their lives changed for the better is worth it.”
The importance of these partnerships is critical to the work GESMN does to ensure everyone experiences the power of work and we are grateful to these partners.
Learn more about GESMN’s services and programs at www.gesmn.org/learn .
Sheila Olson is the Chief Services & Programs Officer at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota. Her team provides nearly 20 customized services to help over 5,500 people in our community each year to get equitable access to jobs, create stable careers and realize the power of work.