Employee NewsResource Information & Letters from Administration
This page is devoted to Thomas Allen employees. It is intended to share key information and updates. It is here to support you. To begin, watch this video and know that you are valued! The work you do is essential, and we recognize that COVID-19 is creating added struggles & sacrifices. You have our gratitude for your efforts to adapt, be resourceful, creative and innovative. Thank you.
This resource offers a plethora of tools to help overcome stressful, challenging, and overwhelming moments. Examples include calming music, guided meditation, coloring books, journals, puzzles, brain breaks, and more!
Credits to: Monticello Public School District and their partners: Created with inspiration from Osseo Area Schools ALC, Sacramento City Unified, Wayzata Public Schools, St. Croix River Education District, District 196.
Click the photo to access the Virtual Calming Room, OR Click the link below:
The Department of Human Services circulated this resource list for Direct Support Professionals on June 24, 2022.
It includes links to programs and opportunities that offer support in areas including the following:
- Options for affordable insurance coverage.
- Resources for child care, housing and food assistance support
- Funding resources for further education and training
- Remote support service exploration
- Resources to obtain bonus payments and enhanced rates
Click the photo to access the Resources for Direct Support Professionals, OR Click the link below:
Company Information Updates for All Employees
Administrator - June 10, 2022
The State of Minnesota approved Frontline Worker or Hero Pay as a way to thank people who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic peacetime emergency. As an employee of Thomas Allen, you may qualify for this Frontline Worker Pay. Please read the following letter and refer to the attachments for more information regarding this program, eligibility and how to apply.
Kari Schuster, Administrator
DEI Committee - May 4, 2022
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy Committee requests your input! The link below provides access to the annual survey. The committee uses your feedback to guide them as they make suggestions for policy direction that will improve our inclusion efforts as a company.
Please be advised that it is not in the scope of practice for this committee to address complaints or concerns that may be noted in survey results.
If you have a matter that you feel needs to be addressed formally, you may reach out to Beckey Skouge, HR Director at BeckeyS@thomasalleninc.com or 651-789-5115 to further discuss your concern.
If you have questions, you may address them to: DEI@thomasalleninc.com
Administrator - January 25, 2022
A new grant program is available, Minnesota Future Together, and we invite employees to look into this further, as many of our team members may be eligible.
This new program will provide eligible Minnesotans with a tuition-free pathway for earning a certificate, diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree at any public institution in the state. The grants are
available starting spring 2022 through 2024 OR until all funds are dispensed, whichever comes first.
The objective of this grant program is to offer tuition-free college pathway for students in high-need career areas.
2020 – 2021
August 23, 2021 - Human Resources
Dear Thomas Allen Colleague,
Super Referrals are back!
Refer someone (or multiple someones!) to work for Thomas Allen, and if they’re hired between September 1 and December 31, 2021, you will be eligible to receive double referral bonuses (up to $400 total per hire – regular bonuses are up to $200)!
You can easily share our jobs by sending a link to the Careers page on our website. Alternatively, you can share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Email by visiting the Careers page and clicking on the platform icons on the menu on the right side of the screen.
August 20, 2021 - Human Resources
This benefit is available to ALL Thomas Allen staff and their family members.
Support for you to achieve your goals
Your ambitions are important to us. Through the new educational partnership between Capella University & Thomas Allen, Inc. you are eligible for significant educational benefits each designed to help you reach your goals.
Scholarship Opportunities and More!
- $5000 – $20,000 GuidedPath scholarships on eligbile bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, plus an additional 10% tuition discount.
- Get a 50% tuition discount on your first 12-week sessino of FlexPath, plus save an additional 10% throughout your program.
- Access to free professional development opportuntiies, including free on-demand webinars in leadership development, goal planning, well-being in the workplace and more.
- Current Capella students are now eligible for 10% tuition discount on all future academic terms.
- Immediate family members, consisting of spouse/domestic partner, and unmarried children up to age 30, are also eligible for Capella educational benefits.
Capella provides an online education that’s flexible and designed to fit the way you live today. We invite you to learn more about Capella’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Available areas of study include general psychology, mental health counseling, addictions studies, social work, marriage & family therapy, applied behavior analysis, human services, business, information technology, public administration, health sciences, education, and more.
Capella University is an accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommision.org), a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to the regional accreditation, Capella has earned specialized and program-specific accreditation recognizing the quality of our degree programs, including CACREP, COAMFTE, and CSWE. Please see all professional accreditations here.
You may explore our partnership page that includes access to the free webinars, and a more thorough explanation of the available benefits and program on our Employee Training page. A direct link to the partnership page is available for your convenience.
August 23, 2021 - Administrator
The 245D COVID-19 Policy has been updated. Please review policy and document as training on your training documentation record.
Policy revisions are summarized below, and where you can find the policy in your policy book. Please refer to your supervisor with any questions. The policy is also available in our Bloodborne Pathogens – COVID-19 online course. You may access that on our Employee-Training page.
RE: 245D POLICY BOOK
DATE: AUGUST 23, 2021
The following changes have been made to your 245D Policy book. This policy should be posted and notification is required. Residential sites – please make 2 extra copies, one for Communication/Training book and one to post and one for the policy book.
Section: 8 – Incident Response Procedures
Sub-section: U – COVID-19
Updates made due to changes in CDC and MDH guidelines for licensed facilities. The following policy changes are:
Masks are required for all staff, regardless of vaccination status.
Eyewear is required for all staff working direct care.
Requiring person to get tested immediately, and again at 3-5 days, upon exposure or development of COVID-related symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.
Visitors must mask regardless of vaccination status.
Exposure: Unvaccinated persons should quarantine in their rooms for 10 days after exposure, or until a negative COVID test is received (test taken at least 3-4 days following exposure). Vaccinated person do not need to quarantine or get tested following travel unless they are symptomatic or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Getting tested 3-5 days post travel is recommended.
May 11, 2021 - Return to Office Plan
The attached documents include a letter from the Administrator discussing Thomas Allen’s Return to Office plan, addressing occupancy levels at the various Thomas Allen offices and the phased process of how this will continue to roll out through 2021.
The second document provides a visual reference to her letter of explanation.
August 4, 2021 - Human Resources
April 21, 2021 - Message from Owners/Administration/HR
Thomas Allen Staff,
The verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial was reached today, and while that was the end of the trial – that does not mark the end of all of the work that still remains to be done. Thomas Allen is dedicated to doing whatever we can to providing a safe, positive and inclusive environment for all staff and persons served that are a part of the Thomas Allen community in addition to all people in external communities. This past year has been extremely painful for many people, and while the trial is over we all need to continue to come together moving forward to stop the unjust violence.
If talking to one of our Employee Assistance Plans would be helpful, please use the following information:
– If you are on our Healthcare Plan – call 1-800-626-7944 (it’s confidential and staffed by top professionals)
– If you are not on our plan, or want an additional resource, Call 1-888-628-4824 or go online to www.GuidanceResources.com . User name = LFGsupport and the Password = LFGsupport1. This EAP is also staffed by top trained professionals and is confidential.
We are here for you. We care. If we are able to help, we will.
Sandy Quinn, Jesse Perron, David Peterman, Jim Perron
Additional information on resources and an attachment is provided below for additional support. – Beckey Skouge, Director of HR
Last September, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) compiled an impressive list of resources that discuss the “impacts of trauma and racism on African Americans and people of color.” They also added resources meant to evoke thoughtful discussion on confronting bias and helping initiate conversations on addressing racism. Also included are resources for Local Mental Health Agencies and Providers. This information was shared with members of our Case Management team who thought all Thomas Allen staff would benefit from additional sources of information and assistance. We hope that some of these resources are helpful to you as we continue our work on addressing racism, equity, and inclusion.
May 3, 2021 - Administrator Retirement Letter
The attached document is a letter from the Administrator, SandyQuinn, announcing her retirement and her successor, Kari Schuster. Please read. Thank You.
November 20, 2020 - Owners
A letter from the owners is available to all personnel by following this link:
March 25, 2021 - Human Resources and DEI Committee
The trial of Officer Derek Chauvin has been a cause for anxiety, fear, anger and trauma for a great many people in our state – and nation. We have put together Informational resources that may be beneficial during this very stressful time. We hope that this information will be helpful if/when you need further clarification, support, trial updates, help with coping mechanisms, etc.
Below is a list of local resources related to the Derek Chauvin trial.
• A video put on by Hamline University on what to expect, including explaining the process of trials in general and answering frequently asked questions
• Educational Web Resources: Lots of places are providing straightforward lists of what to expect, court schedules, and trial updates. This also includes:
o Info on Metro Transit
o What to expect from the Operation Safety Net (which encompasses how police and the National Guard, etc. are working together for security at this time.)
• Support Resources: Includes how to talk to kids about traumatic things, how to deal with trauma anniversaries, the TAI EAP, and some crisis hotlines.
Beckey Skouge, Director of Human Resources and DEI Committee
DEI Committee Letter & Survey
January 27, 2021 - Letter from Administration - COVID-19 Vaccinations
Please read this letter from our Administrative Team discussing the COVID-19 vaccinations.
September 30, 2020 - Owners
A letter from the owners discussing plans addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Thomas Allen. Click Here to Read.
Updates have been made to our Employee Training portal to incorporate access to the Convene trainings (Live and the Recordings), and also includes links to access the Courageous Conversations Sessions. You may see these changes and register for training here: (This is a password protected page – if you do not have the password, please obtain from your supervisor.) https://Learn.ThomasAllenInc.com/Employee-Training
September 23, 2020 - Human Resources
This is a difficult email to write as I need to do so because there seems to be a prevalence of people not following our protocols on temperature screening when they come into a work site.
Please know that it is mandatory that all staff follow these protocols each and every time they enter any office or residential site. If an individual chooses not to, this will result in corrective action.
We are seeing more and more employees with symptoms and/or positive COVID results. Every one of us needs to do what we can to prevent the spread of this disease.
I seek your help, support and commitment to ensuring that we keep ourselves and each other safe.
For your information, here are the protocols:
1) Put on a paper mask (cloth if paper is not available)
2) Use hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
· Put on gloves
3) Clean the temporal thermometer with an alcohol swab.
4) Take your temperature.
· Press button and release, wait 2 seconds
· Hold to temple, wait for beep and read result
· Wait one minute for reuse
5) Clean entire thermometer with alcohol wipe.
6) Complete the information on the form.
Please remember to make sure you mark yourself out when you leave the building!!!!!
Thank you everyone! Your help with this is greatly appreciated.
Beckey Skouge, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Director of Human Resources
November 20, 2020 - Administrator
Letters from the Administrator are available below, addressing the most recent Governor’s Executive Order, and offering Webex meeting opportunities to answer questions from employees. Please select the letter below that pertains to your division.
Minutes from each meeting are included under the letters, labeled “Q & A Session Minutes.”
One is addressed to 245D direct service personnel, and the other pertains to all other personnel.
June 15, 2020 - Owners
June 11, 2020 - Owners
September 22, 2020 - Human Resources
Hello fellow team members!
I hope this finds you and yours well.
These really are extraordinary times! All of us are impacted in some way by the ongoing barrage of challenges that are coming our way. This is especially true when it comes to our kids. As parents, we have been taught that we should have all the answers. Ha! It turns out that this is a myth. It does not reflect reality and it sets us up for feelings of failure, anxiety and distress.
If ever there was a time for us to reach out and support one another, it is NOW. I challenge you to identify a team member who needs your support. Reach out to that person and let them know you are here for them. You will both feel better!
I have attached a message for you from Jonathan Bundt. His wisdom and guidance are especially needed and appreciated right now. The most important thing to remember is that you have a strong support system here at Thomas Allen. We are here for you!
Take a deep breath. Believe that we will get through these challenges and be stronger for it. Give yourself and others the gift of grace. Know that we are here for you and your family.
Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR
Note: Handouts from prior emails are also inserted below on resilience and gratitude.
May 15, 2020 - Administrator
Letter from the Administrator addressing protocol changes for visiting with friends and family.
April 29, 2020 - Human Resources
Hello fellow Thomas Allen employees!
I am feeling like we are now fully “in it”. Enough time has passed that I am learning to accept that some very significant changes and impacts are going to be prolonged.
During this time, your needs for resources are evolving. The support you and your families need falls into a couple of categories. The most common categories are physical, emotional and financial support. To that end, I have attached a very comprehensive guide that offers many resources across a wide spectrum of topics. I hope you find it helpful.
These are tough times but we are tough people. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Accept the scary emotions and embrace the positive ones.
Enjoy this day!
Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR
April 15, 2020 - Human Resources
June 10, 2020 - Human Resources
Greetings fellow Thomas Allen Team members!
Over the past few months, I have addressed several types of wellness. In this email, I would like to address financial wellness.
Everyone has financial realities. For some, this has really hit home recently if a family member has been furloughed or laid off from their job.
The CARES Act has influenced some changes in 401 (k) distributions, loan payment suspensions, hardship withdrawals and other aspects of 401 (k) plans.
The use of HSA funds has been revised by the government to assist with some of the restrictive burdens to participants. You should stay current with these revisions so that you best leverage their benefits to you.
Things keep changing quickly as the financial impacts to workers and employers are taking a bigger toll. Remember that you have a very comprehensive Employee Assistance Program, access to excellent resources at American Funds for your 401 (k) and a very knowledgeable and caring Human Resources department available to answer your questions and assist with your concerns.
Stay well. Take care of yourselves, your family and your co-workers.
Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR
April 22, 2020 - Letter of Appreciation from the Owners and Staying Healthy Resource
Our values get tested in the midst of a crisis. This is our opportunity, individually and collectively, to recommit and live out our priorities. One of our priorities must be taking care of ourselves physically to help reduce our stress. It is easier to BE strong when you FEEL strong! Attached is a resource to assist you in taking good care of yourselves. – Douglas Dempsey-Hess, PHR, Human Resources Manager
April 7, 2020 - Letter from the Administrator
April 8, 2020 - Human Resources
How are you doing? Are you beginning to figure out how to adjust to this very challenging and stressful “new world”?
Attached is a COVID-19 resources document distributed by the Minnesota School Social Workers Association. The document has links to community resources, activities for family and students, supporting students mental health needs, serving students with special education plans, and healthy habits and self-care.
Be safe. Keep looking forward. Remain cautiously calm. Together, we will make it through this!
March 30, 2020 - Human Resources
The attached document created by the Health Management team at Associated Bank Risk Consulting includes a number of resources for fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, children activities and more.
Remember to take care of yourself!!
April 3, 2020
March 25, 2020 - Human Resources
This link is a 15 minute video from the MN Department of Health that provides prevention strategies, self-awareness & mindfulness, how we manage interactions with those we serve, and how we manage our lives overall.
March 25, 2020 - Owners
March 20, 2020 - Administrator
A letter from the Administrator with essential information for all employees.
March 23, 2020 - Human Resources
An update offering clarification on protocols for people who have reduced hours or no hours due to the COVID-19 situation. The links below include the letter, a corresponding “cheat sheet” defining furlough, unemployment, & use of FMLA benefits, and the leave of absence request form.
Additionally, our Employee Assistance Program is available for employees. All employees have access to the EAP from Lincoln Financial (guidance resources) and employees who are enrolled in one of our Medica health plans also have access to the EAP offered through Medica. Both flyers are attached for your use.
March 17, 2020 - Administrator
Questions, Answers & Community Awareness:
June - July 2022: Direct Support Workforce Survey, 24-Month Follow Up
January 2022: Appeal for Legislative Action
ARRM is initiating an appeal for our help:
As we head towards the start of the 2022 Legislative Session on Jan 31, we need EVERY legislator to hear about the importance of addressing the disability services workforce shortage early this session. Please take a few moments to send your legislator a message, describing the workforce crisis you, your organization or your loved one is experiencing and ask them to take immediate action to support services that support people with disabilities.
December 2021: DHS Survey RE: Grant Money for Direct Support Staff Workforce Shortage
Direct care is a growing job field, but there are not enough workers to meet the current and future needs. Feedback from people who use direct care services and people who provide direct care services will help shape how the Department of Human Services uses grant money to recruit and retain direct care workers.
If you are:
- A direct care worker
- Someone who uses the services of direct care workers
- A guardian or family member of someone who uses direct care services
- A service provider
- Someone who works in areas related to direct care
You are invited to share your feedback about how the State of Minnesota could address workforce shortages in direct care. This survey is open until December 19.
Petition for DSPs Inclusion in Frontline Worker's Wage Enhancement
ARRM is launching a statewide petition drive to ensure DSPs are included in the pool of compensated frontline workers. Please share on social media too. Thank You!
June 2021 - Direct Support Professionals Survey
DSP Workforce COVID-19 Survey Follow-Up
The Institute on Community Integration and NADSP are conducting a 12-month follow up survey for their national DSP Workforce COVID-19 Study. If they can get 200 responses in Minnesota, they will create a two page state specific report, in addition to our national report.
Here is a link to the results of our first two DSP COVID-19 surveys. They are trying to gather information in this follow up that will be useful to providers in their advocacy. The results of this survey will be published no later than September 2021 and shared widely. We will also be putting together a Policy Research Brief and Forum on this topic.
Please share this survey link directly with DSPs and encourage them to participate: z.umn.edu/dsp-covid19-survey
The survey closes on July 23, 2021.
COVID-19 Vaccine - Questions and Answers Webinar
Direct Support Professionals Survey: Providing Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, in partnership with the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals, is conducting a survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals. After more than eight months since a national emergency was declared, we want to know how DSPs are doing and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support.
Answers will be anonymous. National and state-specific results from the survey will be shared widely in March 2021.
A similar survey of DSPs was conducted by ICI and NADSP in the spring of 2020 and completed by more than 9,000 DSPs. Those results are available here. The new survey is for both DSPs who completed the earlier survey and those who did not.
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota is a designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, part of a national network of similar programs in major universities and teaching hospitals across the country. ICI’s collaborative research, training, and information-sharing ensure that people with disabilities are valued by, included in, and contribute to their communities of choice throughout their lifetime.
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals is a national non-profit whose mission is to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards; promoting system reform; and advancing their knowledge, skills, and values. Our vision is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.
Click “Survey Link” below to complete the survey.
COVID-19 Vaccination - Q and A Webinar - NADSP with Dr. Rick Rader, MD
Direct support professionals have been on the frontlines of supporting people with disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines are now here and becoming widely available. As this is good news, we also know there is some confusion and worry among people about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine. In this webinar, NADSP in partnership with the American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) will address vaccine concerns. Please join Rick Rader, MD as he shares up to date and research-based information on the COVID-19 vaccines.
Employee Benefits Presentation
This is an on online presentation that is specifically designed to highlight our employee benefit options for the upcoming plan year which runs from December 1st, 2021-November 30th, 2022. This presentation covers our group benefits including medical, HRA, HSA, dental, vision, life, voluntary life, disability, Nice Healthcare, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, IDSheild, LegalSheild, and more.
Employee Orientation and Ongoing Training is now available online. The annual Corporate Training Calendar, Registration links for the courses, handouts and course recordings are all accessible through our Employee Training page.
Course access is available via a password protected page at https://learn.thomasalleninc.com/employee-training You may obtain the password from your supervisor.
Thomas Allen has two policies relating to COVID-19.
a. Personnel Policy, Section 8 – Safety, K. COVID-19.
b. Standard Rule 245D Policy, Section 8 – Incident Response Procedures, U – COVID-19.
These policies may be accessed in three possible ways:
1. At your division work site; if you are currently assigned to work from a site, versus working remotely.
2. On our company network:
a. J:\POLICIES AND JOB DESCRIP\STANDARD PERSONNEL\SECTION 8
b. J:\POLICIES AND JOB DESCRIP\STANDARD 245D\SECTION 8
3. On our online Training Center, within the COVID-19 training curriculum. If you are unsure of how to access this course, please consult with your supervisor to obtain the password.
Mn Governor’s COVID-19 Resource Page
Centers for Disease Control
MN Department of Health MDH Hotline: 651-201-3920 (M-F, 8am – 4:30 pm)
MDH Decision Tree for People in Schools, Youth & Child Care Centers
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
State Health Advisory Network
Carver County COVID-19 Resource Page
Ramsey County COVID-19 Resource Page
Scott County COVID-19 Resource Page
Dakota County COVID-19 Hotline: 952-891-7834. It is open Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m