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From workforce woes to a reliable resource

By Tonia Copeland

Enter Crossroads of Western Iowa from Missouri Valley, who found more than a dozen temporary workers to fit the bill.

“We adopted the concept, and we looked at our jobs differently. We have tried to adopt the right people in the right place,” Perfection Learning Human Resources Director Barb Oliver said.

She added that the more they worked with their new employees, the more their strengths show.

Then she began looking at the tasks differently to see where each of them can be used.

“My mind was just going,” she said.

Emily DeForest and Donna Peterson were team leaders for the huge project.

“They were a huge help. We would not have gotten done in time without them,” DeForest said.

“We love their attitude. They came to work every day with a smile, and we formed relationships we didn’t have otherwise,” Oliver added.

While the projects are now complete, a handful of workers from Crossroads of Western Iowa will remain employed at Perfection Press, and the others will be retained as seasonal employees for the future.

“We have a very seasonal business here,” said David Jacks, Vice President of Operations for Perfection Learning. “I think this will be something we do each summer.”

Besides the additional workforce, the company required additional workspace to complete the mammoth task. They found that space in the recently vacated Shopko building in Missouri Valley.

Their three-month lease became a one-year lease as the company needs the extra space for the temporary crew to use, according to Oliver.

“We just don’t have the square footage to stage those kinds of orders,” she said. “We can get crammed up in our warehouse here in no time.”

Though it didn’t cross her mind until after she had contacted Crossroads’ local Team Coordinator Meaghan Shea-Evans, Oliver said that there are tax credits for employers to hire employees from the non-profit.

While that is certainly an advantage, she added, “The really cool thing for me, from an HR standpoint, is that these people have now become a stable resource.”



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