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Published: Wednesday, 5/14/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

The Blade, casino, zoo honored for work in H.R.

Human resources program picks more employers in ’14


Three local businesses were honored Tuesday for achievements in human resources.

Hollywood Casino Toledo, the Toledo Zoo, and The Blade received the Human Resource Management Award for Excellence during a program at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg.

Clint Longenecker, the chairman of the award section committee, said the panel usually honors one large company and one small company each year.

“But the way it worked out this year, we had three companies that were just off the charts compared to everybody else,” said Mr. Longenecker, who is the Stranahan professor of leadership and organizational excellence in the college of business and innovation at the University of Toledo.

Nominated companies were asked to complete a form with details about their H.R. departments and accomplishments. The panel then visits nominated companies.

“Our standards are exceptionally high,” Mr. Longenecker added. “To win this award means you are really doing something exceptional in the human resources arena that is helping your company survive and thrive while competing in the 21st century.”

Hollywood Casino Toledo was honored for innovation. The company, which opened its Toledo facility in 2012, was cited for efficiently ramping up its staff from zero to more than 900 people. The panel also said Hollywood Casino Toledo created a program that allows strategic input and 24/​7 human resources coverage for all departments.

The Toledo Zoo was honored for leadership. Mr. Longenecker said the zoo’s human resources department has pulled the entire organization forward because of its employment practices. He said the zoo has created and maintained work force flexibility that allows it to blend 173 full-time staff and more than 600 seasonal employees.

The panel also said the zoo developed healthy relationships between union and management by moving from traditional bargaining to interactive, interest-based bargaining and reduced health care costs by using an employee-driven committee structure.

The Blade was honored for impact. Mr. Longenecker said the newspaper’s H.R. department helped “change the trajectory of where the company was headed” over the last decade. The newspaper was credited with developing health and safety programs that produced a reduction in accidents, worker’s compensation, and health-care costs. The Blade also was cited for implementing new in-house and off-site training, tuition reimbursement programs, and an array of educational and development programs.

The contest is supported by the University of Toledo, Randstad Engineering, the Employers’ Association, and the Toledo Area Human Resource Association.

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