Benson recognized for hiring DAC workers

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Benson City Manager tells DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler how much the city appreciates the quality work her people provide.

Nominated by Swift County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) the City of Benson was named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, MOHR.

Swift County DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler presented the award to the city at the council’s meeting Monday night.

She told the council that the high visibility of these jobs brings a lot of positive feedback from the public, which is great for building morale among the individuals her organization serves.  “The supervisors and crews of the City of Benson always conduct business in a respectful way, and make it known that we are an integral part of how the town runs,” Koehler said.

Individuals with disabilities from the Swift County DAC in Benson help maintain the city’s image by mowing park areas, painting fire hydrants and other tasks.  They have also cleaned city offices and other properties, assembled meter boxes and stenciled safety cones.  

“It’s the little things that make a difference,” City Manager Rob Wolfington said. Benson is at a crossroads of transportation Minnesota Highways 9 and 29, and U.S. Highway 12, coming through the community. It’s important for the city to make a good impression on people who are passing through.  

Mowed and maintained downtown parks and fresh paint on fire hydrants apply the shine to Benson’s image, Wolfington explained.  He said individuals from the DAC provide reliability, quality and value.

The DAC provides employer liaisons, transportation, training, supervision and job coaching for individuals with disabilities.  The nonprofit also specializes in prevocational services to teach motor skills, problem solving and safety, and the importance of reliable attendance, task completion and a good attention span.

“We cannot overemphasize the importance of employers in our efforts to provide meaningful services to people with disabilities in Minnesota,” Mike Burke, president of MOHR said.  The organization represents more than 110 disability service providers across the state.

Celebrated every October, this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”  It celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.


Pictured: Benson City Manager tells DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler how much the city appreciates the quality work her people provide.


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