Good things come in threes. Mitchell Lallier can attest to that as his company, S & L Cleaning (1821 University Ave.), has won three awards in the past few weeks.
Each award cites the company’s efforts to hire handicapped, older and immigrant people and veterans. Fully 40 percent of his employees fall into these categories.
Ninoska Salinas Lallier, Lallier’s wife, is the financial officer for the company. Operations manager Tracey Chineth, has worked for S&L Cleaning for 11 years.
The award from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman recognizes his “dedication and hard work.” Friends say Lallier is relentless in pursuit of his goals, as well as the goals of each of his 55 workers.
“Talent is in everybody, and it’s a matter of making it shine,” says Lallier.
Frank Herd, placement coordinator for vocational rehabilitation services of the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development Department, and Alanna Rice, career consultant with the department, say Lallier genuinely deserves the award from their agency for the way he helps his employees work out details of their jobs from transportation to adjusting work to deadlines.
The Ramsey County commendation recognizes efforts to coordinate limitations on earnings for disabled employees and the number of hours they worked. Fifty percent of workers at Ramsey East Government Center have some type of disability.
Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire describes Lallier, who is an old friend, as energetic and charismatic.
He has a “can do” attitude and, whatever he attempts, “he makes it happen,” she says.
“He cares about people,” McGuire adds. And the people who work for him know it, she says.
Kate, an employee, speaks French and is learning English. The young woman says she has a “good job” cleaning homes for Lallier. She came from the West African country of Togo three years ago.
N. Lallier helps with translation and brings in other translators when necessary. Employees speak five different languages.
The company cleans libraries, state and county offices, COVID-19 Centers, homeless shelters, homes and other locations. Most employees work part-time to accommodate different abilities and needs. And many have two jobs.
Another employee says Lallier is “easy to work with because he really listens and encourages you.”
Cortez Smith, building supervisor for the Ramsey East Government Center, says the company is easy to work for because they listen to the employees and work with them to make them successful.
State Senator John Hoffman of Brooklyn Center says, “With Mitch, people with disabilities find a place where they can thrive and do a good job.”
Like his mother, the late Edith Lallier, executive director of the Ramsey Action Program (antipoverty program) in the 1970s and a founder of Headstart, Mitch Lallier “finds a pathway to success” for the people he hires, Hoffman says.
Hoffman said Lallier sees “potential in every person he meets” and “he finds a pathway to success” for everyone he hires.
He creates flexibility in places where his employees need it, Hoffman explains.
Lallier also is a fixture at the Midway YMCA where he currently teaches swim classes for infants and toddlers and their parents. He also runs the state youth handball program, is part of the Friendship Club, and chairs the neighbor advisory board for the HHH Job Corps. He says he stays involved to help anyone who needs assistance to build their future.
Lallier says he and his wife feel very honored by the awards for their work for persons with disabilities.
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