More MS news articles for Dec 2001

National MS Society Bestows Employer of the Year Awards

December 21, 2001

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society named Turner Construction Company and Target Corporation as co-winners of its 2001 Employer of the Year Award, and Midwest Turf and Irrigation of Omaha won in the Society’s small employer category.

The award was established in 1995 to recognize companies that go the extra mile to support staff with disabilities. The winners were nominated by an employee with MS, and were judged by former employer winners, people with MS and Society staff.

Target Corporation recruits and hires people from diverse backgrounds, creating opportunities for them while enacting the company’s marketing policy as well. “Our ability to 'know our guest' is greatly dependent upon a group of employees that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve,” says Carolyn Brookter, Target’s Corporate Communications Director. “We are committed to equal employment opportunity because it is the right thing to do and because it provides us a competitive advantage.”

Target’s efforts to accommodate people with special needs became particularly meaningful to Richard Lombardo, diagnosed with MS while an assistant store manager for Target. Target offered Richard a paid leave-of-absence after his diagnosis to give him time to research the disease and evaluate whether he could return at the same level. Two months later, Richard asked to be transferred to a Northridge, California, location, where he had family and could live in a more moderate climate—and Target’s management agreed.

Turner Construction’s commitment to its employees became especially personal when Gene Fatur, a respected engineer at the firm’s Portland, Oregon, office was diagnosed with MS and his work capabilities suddenly changed in 1993. Fatur went from freely moving around a construction site to using a wheelchair. The company created a fully accessible workspace in his home, built access ramps on-site, and allowed him to modify his work hours.

Aided by Turner’s immediate and consistent support, Gene has been able to continue his successful career path, “Turner and my colleagues have never hesitated to help and accommodate me because of my illness. They have greatly supported me personally. All of this actually helped in my realization that life does not end because I have MS,” says Gene.  

Turner’s commitment to the accommodation of disabled persons is also visible in INVESCO Field at Mile High, a project completed earlier this year. Turner was the lead on this “design-build” assignment, in direct partnership with the stadium architects, HNTB Architects. The stadium design is sensitive to the needs of the disabled in terms of seating availability, sightlines, and protection from the sun. In addition, concession stands and ticket booths were designed to accommodate disabled workers.