Top award recognizes innovation and leadership in HR efforts

Arizona’s G&T Cooperatives and the Human Resources department have been recognized as leaders and innovators in the workplace with the prestigious “Innovation in the Workplace” award, given during the Innovation in the Workplace Celebration in Tucson March 12.

The ‘Innovation in the Workplace’ awards event is sponsored by the Society for Human Resources Management of Greater Tucson (SHRM-GT), a regional chapter of the national SHRM, and recognizes companies and HR departments that “exemplify innovation in the following areas: Technology/Process Improvement, Diversity and Inclusion, Community Impact, and Leadership.

According to the SHRM-GT program, “innovation is critical to growth and enhancing business and the work environment.”

The G&T’s and the HR department were nominated for the award by Staff Matters, an employment agency used by the G&T’s HR department, and are being recognized as innovators and leaders for working with local communities and Cochise Community College and the Cochise County Workforce Development group to develop programs that prepare people in the local workforce for jobs in their communities.

In addition and as part of the programs that helped win the G&Ts the recognition, Ryan Manzo, EMS Manager, has been teaching a class “Introduction to the Utility Industry” to area students interested in careers in the electric utility industry.

Emery Silvester, Director of Administrative Services for the G&Ts, said receiving the award “was a ‘wow’ experience.”

“There are many innovative companies out there and we were in very good company. To receive this award reflects not just on the HR staff and the G&Ts but all our employees who make it possible for us to initiate these types of programs in the first place.

“We simply couldn’t do it without the great co-op employees we have,” Silvester said. “We’d like to especially recognize the hard work of Lauri Martin, Lanel Gamez and Shannon Garner.”

This isn’t the first time the G&Ts have been recognized for innovation; in 2010 the G&T’s also received the Innovation in the Workplace Award and the Judge’s Choice award for programs initiated in 2009.