MCF-Red Wing goes 'above and beyond'Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing was recognized last month for going the extra mile to support its National Guard and Reserve employees.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
Minnesota Correctional Facility-Red Wing was recognized last month for going the extra mile to support its National Guard and Reserve employees.
MCF-Red Wing was the only correctional facility to receive the 2009 Above and Beyond Award from the National Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
The correctional facility was chosen from a pool of more than 300 nominated Minnesota employers.
"We feel it's our role to support our staff," said Security Capt. Stan Barber. "The going above and beyond ... it's a pretty simple step to take. It's a no-brainer for us."
First Lt. Stephen Babcock nominated the correctional facility, where he currently is an officer.
Babcock was sent to Iraq only months after starting his job at MCF-Red Wing and wrote in his nomination letter he appreciated his co-workers' willingness to reach out to his wife.
Babcock also noted how staff at the correctional facility send him care pages while he was overseas, and went out of their way to help him adjust back to civilian life and his career.
"My employer has gone above and beyond what I have ever excepted from an employer in their support of my service and bring great credit to themselves and the country," Babcock wrote.
Barber said corrections-type work often attracts military or ex-military members. MCF-Red Wing currently has five officers active in the National Guard or National Guard reserve.
Warden Otis Zanders said his employees take pride in helping their co-workers. He said staff's personal and professional health and development are important to running an effective facility.
"This award is really an affirmation of what we do daily," Zanders said. "Our employees are our most valuable resource."
This is the second time MCF-Red Wing has received the award.
Barber said he's especially proud since finding resources to help military employees can be difficult given fiscal restraints state agencies like the correctional facility face.
MCF-Red Wing does hold fundraisers, but Barber and Zanders said much of what staff does comes at no cost.
"A lot of it is just reaching out," Barber said. "Thankfully we have employees who are willing to step up and help each other."
Lt. Robert Bethea, a MCF-Red Wing officer, also received recognition from the National Committee of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Bethea was given the Patriot Award for his efforts supporting National Guard and National Guard Reserve employees.