WRC To Honor Three Local Firms

March 1, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Women's ResourceCenter is to confer its 16th annual employer recognition awards upon Cascade Engineering, Mercantile Bank and the Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge law firm. 

It will present the awards during a March 23 luncheon at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. 

Cascade Engineering, the recipient in the "Opening Doors of Opportunity" award category, is being recognized for providing employment opportunities to disadvantaged women through its innovative welfare-to-career program.

The program gives unskilled workers a chance to earn a living wage and become self-sufficient. The firm provides training and support to help these employees succeed. The program is a reflection of the company's philosophy "doing something good and then making it good business."

Mercantile Bank is to receive the "Progressive Strategies & Work Life Balance" award for offering flexible work options, benefits and a climate that promotes balancing a personal and professional life. 

WRC selected the bank because of its executive commitment to offering employees many options such as flex time, job sharing, compressed work schedules and time for community service. 

Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge was chosen for its efforts in the category of "Women in Nontraditional and Leadership Positions," a category highlighting companies that offer women advancement to positions women rarely hold.

SHRR has a solid record of offering such positions to dedicated women at the firm, while also to providing training, tuition reimbursement and internal promotions to encourage advancement.

"These companies understand the value women offer in the professional world," said Sharon Caldwell-Newton, WRC's executive director.

"We salute them because they are making smart business decisions to get the most out of a valuable and vital segment of the labor force. Their wisdom will reward them many times over in the form of excellent performance and employee retention from the women in whom they have invested."

Women's ResourceCenter, founded in 1973, is a nonprofit organization that provides career and personal development services to women in transition.

Its services include career planning, resume development, job-seeker support groups, topical seminars and non-traditional career nights.   

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