In the face of a workforce shortage and challenges related to a pandemic, many businesses have been put to the test. But some businesses still managed to shine, honoring their workers and letting them know they are valued, even during hardships. The best become known as Employers of Choice.
Every year the Missoula Job Service Employers’ Council selects three employers in the Missoula and Ravalli counties area to recognize for their positive approach to workers, their dedication to leadership, and their community involvement. This year, Partnership Health Center, DJ&A, and Opportunity Resources, Inc. received the title of Employers of Choice. JSEC plans an awards ceremony for the trio later in February. JSEC sends its congratulations to these outstanding employers.
Opportunity Resources, Inc., has supported people with disabilities and enhanced their quality of life in Missoula for 68 years. The non-profit supports its over 230 employees, also, in an environment that some employees describe as familial. They receive tax-sheltered annuities, retirement accounts with an employer match, health insurance at minimal cost, generous paid time off, extended sick leave, flexible scheduling, and bonuses, including a bonus for referring successful job applicants.
According to Lead Employment Consultant Larry Dill who has worked for 30 years at ORI, CEO Josh Kendrick and the management team went out of their way to communicate information from the CDC concerning COVID vaccinations, as well as implemented a mask rule in ORI buildings to protect staff and clients. “They have also fostered an open door, collaborative work culture where staff are encouraged to approach their supervisors with new ideas or concerns without fear of retribution, Dill wrote in his nomination for ORI. “They value the staff and move mountains to show that,” said Tina McDonald, assistant HR director. “They seek out new ways to show appreciation and better the lives of all clients and staff.”
Speaking of workers, ORI is looking for some. “Everywhere is hiring, but working for ORI is unlike working anywhere else,” said office administrator Devan Fuhlendorf. “We love it here!” CEO Josh Kendrick said ORI is happy to be recognized for its dedication to staff. “Opportunity Resources, Inc. (ORI) has always strived to be a place people want to work. This award comes at a time when we have not only spent the past two years battling to keep those we serve and our staff safe during a global pandemic, but also a time where we have doubled down on being the employer of choice in the Missoula community. ORI’s top corporate goal for two years now has been to be that employer of choice, and this award recognizes the efforts all our current staff have made to assure ORI is a great place to work. Thank you to all our current staff and to JSEC for the recognition and this award.