Throughout the organization, employees are encouraged to get involved in the community through volunteer activities. This could be as a member of a civic organization, donating supplies or time to a good cause, or volunteering skills and equipment to help with a project. Employees have participated in projects such as painting at the YMCA for United Way Day of Action and raising money for the local area food shelf. While these activities provide wonderful team building opportunities, they also promote collaboration and help connect our organization with the local community to help make a difference!
One experience employees still talk about is the opportunity to help with the Willmar Destination Playground project in the spring of 2017. This was a project that started with an idea from community leaders in the summer of 2016 and resulted in a 19,000-square-foot playground facility, the largest in a five-state area, that is fully accessible to children with disabilities. The project was fully funded through donations from local companies and the general public and built entirely by community volunteers. The playground was designed by children from the Willmar area, and has special features including an igloo, a train, castles, and our personal favorite, a turkey barn, along with other fun surprises.
Teams from Nova-Tech Engineering, Select Genetics, and Life-Science Innovations joined in on the community build and volunteered their skills including cutting wood, building sections of the castles and igloo, painting, and organizing the building area. Employees valued the chance to contribute to this community project: it gave them the opportunity to give back to the community while helping create a new gathering place for children (and adults) and have great bonding time with co-workers in the process!