Economic Development and Human Resources

Workers win Essential Service award

November 22, 2018
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Andrea Gafford
Andrea Gafford. Courtesy West Michigan Works!

The region’s workforce development agency has recognized a group of workers for going “above and beyond” in their jobs.

West Michigan Works! on Nov. 12 recognized seven service workers in the region with 2018 Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Awards for “integrity, commitment and passion in their jobs.”

“The business community often overlooks the significant contributions that service workers make in our region and economy,” said Dave Smith, chair of the West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board. “The Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Awards recognize exceptionally hardworking individuals who perform these crucial jobs.”

Employers, co-workers, and the community can submit Essential Service Award nominations in a variety of industries including housekeeping, hospitality, retail, health care, transportation, administrative, food service, general labor, child care, nonprofit, custodial and government.

The 2018 recipients were recognized at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids meeting at the JW Marriott Hotel, which was attended by more than 500 West Michigan business leaders.

2018 Beverly A. Drake Essential Services award winners

Gordy Bacheller, custom furniture assembler, Bold Furniture (20 years)

Kelle Bergers, housekeeper, Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan (28 years)

Nicholas Borgman, customer service representative, Quality Car Wash (four years)

Riley Frens, nurse technician, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (three years)

Andrea Gafford, customer service/scheduling, Anderson Technologies Inc. (20 years)

Sam Sandee, employment training program specialist, Wedgwood Christian Services (22 years)

Laurie Trestrail, dietary aide, SKLD (39 years)

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