Citing its commitment to the comprehensive and long-term employment of persons with disabilities, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services today gave Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) its highest award, the Secretary Recognition Award.
Art Collins, Medtronic chairman and chief executive officer, accepted the award on behalf of the company and noted, “People with disabilities represent a significant, untapped talent pool for technology and ‘knowledge’ industries. We recognize that everyone benefits when we support an increasingly diverse workforce, and the contributions of people with disabilities have helped Medtronic develop leading medical technologies for patients worldwide. We accept this honor with pride, but also with reinvigorated commitment to reaching out to people with disabilities.”
The award was presented by Secretary Tommy Thompson in the building named for another prominent Minnesotan and advocate for people with disabilities, the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C.
Medtronic, which sponsored “Minnesota Career Development for the 21st Century Day” for people with disabilities at its headquarters last week, also has received the Distinguished Community Service Award from ARC Minnesota (Oct. 9, 2004) and the “Employer of the Year” award from the Minnesota State Council on Disability (Sept. 30, 2004).
Joan Willshire, executive director of the State Council on Disability, cited the involvement of Medtronic executives as most influential in making the workplace supportive of people with disabilities.
Medtronic sponsored “Minnesota Career Development for the 21st Century Day” for people with disabilities at its headquarters on October 20, 2004.
The day included presentations from 3M, American Express Financial, Cargill, Fairview Health Services, The Federal Executive Board of Minnesota, Medtronic, The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and Northwest Airlines. The participating students then had an opportunity to hear from a panel of individuals with disabilities employed at these corporations on their experiences working for these organizations. In the afternoon, the participating students were then able to speak to representatives from the participating corporations to find mentoring opportunities or employment opportunities that matched their experience.