Apr 2016

AWARE receives second choice employer award

AWARE Inc. was named choice employer by the Glendive Job Service Employee’s Council, Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2016.

AWARE was recognized in Glendive JSEC’s large business category as an outstanding employer through “leadership, workplace culture, employee development and community orientation.”

Jennifer Juarez, AWARE service administrator in Billings, accepted the award on AWARE’s behalf. Jerry Jimison, Glendive mayor and JSEC committee member; Amy Deines, Glendive Job Service office manager; and Darla Handran, Glendive Employment Services Specialist and JSEC Coordinator were on hand to present the award.

Criteria examined for the award include employee benefit programs and employee-centered initiatives; employee training, skills development, knowledge and education; community involvement; high standard of serving as a community role model; demonstrations of excellent customer-service practices; and consistently engaging in ethical business practices.

Winners of this award apply to be nominated by Glendive JSEC. Glendive JSEC has been recognizing businesses with this award since 2014.

Additional award recipients both of Glendive include:
Cal’s Carpet, small business category
HKT Big Sky Motors, medium business category

AWARE was also honored as the Missoula JSEC Employer of Choice award Feb. 17, 2016.

Read about the Missoula JSEC award by logging on to the Missoulian.com and searching for 2016 Missoula JSEC large business award.


Apr 2016

Montana institution residents placed in AWARE services

There’s a lot of buzz around the plans to move residents from the Montana Developmental Center (MDC) in Boulder, Mont., into AWARE’s services. So far, many good things are happening. AWARE employees all around can be proud to be part of this historical movement that brings Montana men and women out of the institution and into the community.

March 2016, AWARE began moving residents of MDC into their new community homes. Six of the 21 residents AWARE plans to transfer into its services now live in Butte or Great Falls.

“We have a long track record of successfully placing people in a community setting after previous placements in an institution,” Larry Noonan, AWARE CEO, said. “People with disabilities are capable of anything given the proper tools and resources. AWARE has worked hard to get to a place where it can offer a full spectrum of both mental health and developmental disability services for the people entrusted in our care.”

The first two individuals moved into the Mammoth home in Butte March 1. Giving time to adjust to their new living quarters, two more individuals moved in a little more than a week later, March 10. AWARE transferred two residents into the Sun River home (pictured) in Great Falls April 4.

As AWARE staff organizes the transfer of MDC residents, they look for creative ways to bring them on board while continuing to effectively serve the people AWARE already cares for, including
• Hiring additional staff to serve incoming residents,
• Buying new homes to house incoming residents,
• Rearranging current residents among AWARE’s homes to make room for incoming residents,
• Creating new job opportunities in the communities for the incoming residents,
• Creating new opportunities for current AWARE employees to better serve the new and current residents and
• Providing additional training to AWARE employees to best serve current and incoming residents.

The next transfer will occur in the upcoming weeks with plans for the 21 new residents to be settled into their new homes by July 1, 2016.

Movement of MDC residents comes after Montana Gov. Steve Bullock signed House Bill 411 on May 6, 2015, which enables careful and thoughtful closure of MDC and placement of most residents in the community by July 2017.

If you have questions, please contact:
Larry Noonan, AWARE CEO
406.563.8117 or 406.560.3914