High school students aren't settling when it comes to their workplace. Nor should they have to! Now more than ever, it's important to have a rewarding, positive, inclusive, flexible, and meaningful work experience. With many options at your fingertips, we wanted to share why high school students are switching to ACR Homes.
They Find Meaningful Work
ACR Homes provides care for people with disabilities living in group homes throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Area of Minnesota. Meaningfulness is naturally engrained in our culture because we have the privilege of caring for people. High school students and others who naturally have an empathetic nature are drawn to our work and find fulfillment by serving our residents.
We're constantly hearing that employees "start at ACR Homes because of the experience they'll gain, but stay because of the relationships they build". When put to the test, our employees responded positively, securing ACR Homes a special "meaningfulness" award in the Star Tribute Top Workplace contest (2023). Not only was ACR Homes voted as meaningful, but our employees secured ACR Homes a spot as the #20 large top workplace in Minnesota. It was also the only home healthcare services provider on the list.
Employees find meaning through friendships and activities residents, by helping them meet their personal goals, and by putting a smile on their faces every day.
They Have A Flexible Schedule
Balancing high school classes, work, a social life, extra curricular activities, and family can be a lot. Because we have supportive supervisors who value their employees, high school students have found the flexibility they need to be present in all areas of their lives.
Our part-time employees are only asked to work a minimum of 12 - 16 hours/week and choose from shifts that span weekdays, weekends, daytime shifts, and overnight shifts (with overnight shifts only being available for employees who are 18 years old and above). Because employees aren't required to work a specific type of shift, and can take time off as needed, they're able to find a schedule that fits their lifestyle.
They're Building Their Resume
As a high school student, you might not know exactly what you want to do yet, and that's okay! Start exploring some career paths. No matter what you're pursuing, we know students interested in healthcare, nursing, education/special education, human services, social work, psychology, and advocacy will directly benefit from a job at ACR Homes.
Because the Direct Care Assistant and Direct Care Professional positions are so versatile, employees are finding their experience is handy for career fields involving people, and you'll learn to do things like:
- Work with medical equipment
- Take vitals
- Use medical terminology
- Assist residents with mobility by aiding in physical and occupational therapy, stretching routines, and range of motion
- Advocate for people
- Learn First aid & CPR
- and more
The soft skills gained at ACR Homes are equally as important to high school students. Even if employees find this isn't the long term career path for them, the life experience is unparalleled. You'll learn about non-verbal communication, advocacy, inclusion, managing a daily schedule, and coordinating fun activities. The transferrable life skills like interpersonal communication, cooking, and cleaning will be with you forever.
They're Finding Community Through A Collaborative Team Environment
Nobody wants to feel like their alone on an island. The collaborative team environment at ACR makes it unique.
First, ACR employees feel part of a collaborative team because they're working in a comfortable home environment. Walking into work doesn't have to feel chaotic and overwhelming. It can feel like home. Each of our 40+ group homes are single family homes tucked into the neighborhoods of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. They're comfortably decorated for the tastes and styles of the residents living there. Each home has a team of 10-20 Direct Care employees that join together to provide excellent care for our residents with disabilities. On shift, you can do things like have a family style meal together at the dining room table, have a back yard bon fire, or have a fun movie night where everyone gets in PJ's and watches a movie in the living room. Collaboration and creativity are encouraged so that the staff and residents have fun together in addition to providing great care.
Second, you'll find belonging on our team because of the support you'll get. Even though Direct Care Assistants and Direct Care Professionals are managing the daily routines and schedules for our residents, they're supported in a big way. First through training, and then through supervision. The group home managers live on site in an attached apartment with their family and pets. There's also a registered nurse on-call for each home. The support system you might need is only a few steps or a phone call away.
Finally, you'll find community and collaboration in our company as a whole. You're not just a number, and there are a variety of ways to get involve through a community recruiting program, internship cohorts, and through company wide events. Even though employees are spread out across 40 group homes, we make sure the staff and residents get together as a whole each year for fun and energetic events like:
- Employee Appreciation Day - Every July we say "thank you" to our employees for the important work they do through a fun event filled with food trucks, bounce houses, llama petting zoos, live music, and take-home crafts!
- Homecoming Week - Each year we simulate a "homecoming week" where residents and staff are invited to fun events like karaoke, bingo, and a dance.