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What a time to be alive in Human Resources. The past twelve months have been challenging to say the least, but if anything resulted from the pandemic, we have become leaner, smarter, and more creative. Although hiring has not been a main priority, we have experienced growth in some programs. We hired a new Director of Maintenance to replace Walter Green, who retired in 2020 after 24 years of service at Futures. Thank you Walt for your service and well wishes in your retirement.
We added Nursing Services to our In-Home and Community Program. The hiring of Registered Nurse Joy Confer and Licensed Practical Nurses Karissa Fitzsimmons and Emalee Boldt will enable us to provide a higher level of care to our more medically fragile participants in all of our programs. Unfortunately, we did see a decrease in staff numbers due to retirements, layoffs, and overall COVID related reasons. We wish those staff members success and happiness in their future endeavors, especially Carrie Parsons who retired from our Life Skills Program after 11 years of service, thank you Carrie.
Due to state mandated closure of our facility-based programs for several months, our Administration Team had time to develop a COVID-19 Action Plan, an updated Employee Handbook and Corporate Compliance Plan. We also changed health insurance brokers which helped us to offer our employees a higher level of benefits and options including an Employee Assistance Program at similar costs as our previous health insurance.
Moving forward we continue to seek areas of growth and improvement. We have a solid team of staff at our Agency; staff that are dedicated and committed to the mission and our participants.