Orion Associates is Recognized as a “Great Place to Work” in Minnesota Monthly Magazine

January 3, 2009

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Orion Associates was recognized as a “Great Place to Work” in an article in Minnesota Monthly magazine, in January 2009.  Orion Associates was cited as one of forty-eight Minnesota companies that offered unique or exceptional benefits to their employees.

The article’s fifteen benefit categories included a range from “Great for Health Care” to “Great for Vacations” to “Great for Cool Work Environment.”  Orion Associates was one of three companies featured in the category of “Great for Volunteer Values.”

The exerpt from the article follows:

Great Places to Work

By Ali Brady, Sara Glassman, Joel Hoekstra, Countney Lewis, and Andrea Wagenknecht

Right now, lots of us are happy just to get a paycheck that doesn’t bounce.  But there are dozens of companies in Minnesota that offer employees something more, from generous retirement plans and cool office environs to subsidized child-care and no-cost health care.  Here, 48 companies that treat their employees like customers.

You knew times were tough when Google axed the free snack bars.  But with the economy in a nosedive and retail sales slumping faster than a frat boy post-bender, companies are making cutbacks.  The perks of the 1990s — trips to Fiji for mail-room clerks, laptops for mascots — are long gone.  Business ain’t bad all over, though.  Looking for rays of hope amid a gloomy forecast, Minnesota Monthly asked consultants, academics, and workplace experts to name companies that offer benefits that are unique or above-average or astonishingly generous.  Then we called up the companies to verify the rumors.  What we discovered surprised us.  Small and big, these employers cared about their employees — and they made efforts to keep them humming and happy.  Don’t believe such places exist?  Take a look.  Maybe it’s time to dust off that resumé.

Great for Volunteer Values
Orion Associates – Golden Valley
35 Minnesota employees

In the aftermath that followed Hurricane Katrina, Rebecca Thomley, CEO of Orion Associates, went to New Orleans to aid the Red Cross.  The experience made an impression.  “Services and support were not coming in for the families,” Thomley says.  So, over Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, the company covered expenses for all thirty-five employees to volunteer in the devastated city.  Closer to home, the company has sponsored post-emergency trips to Cedar Rapids, Rushford, and Winona.  There is no limit on days off for these trips and employees can also take an additional two days to volunteer for the nonprofit of their choice.  For those who can’t travel, Orion, which offers management services to social-service agencies, holds four events annually, which have included volunteering days for Toys for Tots, MS Walk, and Habitat for Humanity.  Alicia Corbett, a family coordinator at Orion for six years, has been to New Orleans more than fifteen times and estimates she’s been out about thirteen working days each year as a volunteer.  Additionally, the volunteer experiences have made her more sympathetic when working with clients.  “I have more patience now because maybe someone is going through something we don’t know about,” she says.

Link for Minnesota Monthly:
http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/

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