The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board invites employers to participate in the 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards. The program will recognize the employers in the two-county area that are best at finding and retaining employees - two challenges employers face amid low unemployment. The program also provides an overview of employment data, and trends and practices on what employers are doing to maintain an engaged workforce.

The program collects data from area employers and produces a 20-page report on employment trends and practices in Dakota and Scott counties. Using the data received, the Workforce Development Board will recognize the businesses experiencing the best results in employee retention efforts and providing the best work environments in the area. Additionally, participating employers will receive a confidential report including their individual metrics. This is the third year of the program.

“We heard great feedback from the participating organizations.” said Mark Lofthus, chair of the Workforce Development Board’s Business Services Committee. “The surveys provided valuable benchmark data for them. Plus, it was great to see these area employers recognized for their cutting edge initiatives.”

The Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board is working with Personnel Dynamics Consulting to collect the data from area businesses. Personnel Dynamics will analyze the data and calculate the turnover rates, growth percentages, promotion percentages, and benefit packages for each company. A total of 37 different measurements are analyzed. Every participating company will receive a personalized report detailing how they compared with other companies in the area and suggestions for improving their work environment. All survey costs are being covered by the Workforce Development Board and area sponsors, including Dakota County Community Development Agency, Scott County Community Development Agency, Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College.

Winners will be announced Sept. 27 at the 2018 Employers of Excellence Awards Banquet in Burnsville.

All employers are encouraged to participate. Contact Workforce Development Board Director Mark Jacobs at 651-554-5622 for more information or go to, which includes a link to the survey.

The program is available this year at no cost to employers. The deadline to apply is July 31.