Three USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing employees in Storm Lake were awarded an Equal Employment Opportunity Achievement Award by Rural Development State Director Mark Reisinger in recognition of their efforts to improve the agency's outreach to minority communities. The employees recognized were Sheila Zobrist, Vickie Larson and Sandy Zeman.
"Sheila, Vickie and Sandy are valuable Rural Development team members and are committed to making sure all eligible families know about our programs and are able to take advantage of them," Reisinger said. "This recognition is a well-deserved honor because of their commitment and creativity in reaching out to minority and immigrant communities."
Zobrist, Larson and Zeman were recognized for consistently exceeding goals for loans and grants made to minorities. To achieve this, they have invested many hours developing relationships with groups and individuals with ties to the minority communities in the Storm Lake area. In particular they have worked to cultivate relationships with the Sudanese community, significantly increasing the number of new participants in Rural Development's programs.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Achievement Award recognizes staff members for special achievements in promoting equal opportunities and civil rights, and for actions promoting diversity that clearly exceed their responsibilities.
"Rural Development's role is to make sure the opportunities found in rural America are available to each and every one of the 1.9 million rural residents in our state," Reisinger said. "These team members help make sure that vision becomes a reality."
Further information on rural programs is available at the local USDA Rural Development office in Storm Lake, which can be reached at (712) 732-1851, or by visiting Rural Development's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia.