Eagan Culver’s wins state level disability employer award

Above, from left, Culver’s team members Tony and Matt display the MOHR Outstanding Disability Employer Award with ProAct Employment Development Manager Anna Cahak. They are joined by ProAct participant and Culver’s employee Mike, second from right, his mother, Sue, and father, Scott.

Culver’s, a longtime ProAct partner in Eagan, was named a 2022 Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR).

The recognition honors companies that go above and beyond to provide quality work opportunities as well as supportive and inclusive policies and practices for employees with disabilities.

Satisfaction, accomplishment

Culver’s offers its employees an enhanced quality of life, personal growth, financial gain, pride and accomplishment, said ProAct Employment Development Manager Anna Cahak.

The restaurant works with employees to identify skillsets and place them in tasks that fit their interests and needs, she explained. Managers and other “True Crew Members” are welcoming and support additional job coaching, while also providing natural supports.

The inclusive and welcoming environment has helped make employees successful and with job retention, Cahak explains. When COVID-19 hit, individuals with disabilities were impacted with unemployment and underemployment at a greater rate.

Seven-year relationship thrives

The restaurant’s partnership with ProAct developed in 2015 with a community supported worksite. Participants tried out various tasks and built on their skills. Culver’s then worked with ProAct to find direct hires, helping individuals to obtain and maintain competitive, integrated employment.

Culver’s embraced ProAct and its mission of providing person-centered services that enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, life skills, and community inclusion. It has supported the individuals served by assisting with fully integrated community work.

Owner has own disability story

ProAct presented the award. The franchise is proudly owned and operated by the Laudenbach family. Matt Laudenbach and a manager, Tony, accepted the award, along with several Culver’s employees.

One ProAct participant, Mike Herdine, was hired at Eagan Culver’s in March of 2022, and spoke of the positive personal impacts of his job. Laudenbach then shared his own disability, which he views as an “obstacle.” He is legally blind, and relies on support from others each day.

He said everyone faces obstacles in life, and if people support each other, great things can be accomplished.