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Idaho pauses to say thanks for employee service

It’s a simple word – one used far too infrequently – yet it carries tremendous weight. It has the ability to repair relationships, acknowledge contributions and inspire greatness.


The essence of that expression was conveyed in varied ways this week as members of the ITD executive management team joined other state agency leaders in thanking employees for their tireless efforts.

'We have charted a path forward, and your integrity, hard work and determination have made it possible for us to establish Idaho as a leader among all 50 states...'

– Gov. Dirk Kempthorne

State Employee Appreciation week was initiated three years ago to acknowledge the public service of employees to the citizens of Idaho.

It came at a time when budgets were tight, salary increases were put on hold and expectations stepped up. Those conditions have eased slightly, although budget scrutiny is an ongoing process. Most ITD employees received a mid-year salary increase and look forward to another modest increase in July.

Economic improvements aside, however, employees still appreciated the special thanks they received this week.

Members of the executive team at ITD’s headquarters assumed a servant role Wednesday, fanning out to cover every office and every cubicle. They began with 700 gourmet, individually wrapped “thank-you” cookies and personally delivered them to employees.

It punctuated a week of special recognition. A jar with carefully layered M&M peanut candy was claimed by the person who came closest to guessing the number contained in the jar. Several prizes also were distributed to raffle winners Tuesday and Thursday.

ITD employees throughout Idaho shared in the spirit of appreciation.

  • District 4 in Shoshone rolled a Mexican theme in with appreciation week, calling it Quatro de Mayo. On Tuesday (May 4th), employees brought taco ingredients for a potluck/taco feed. The district provided cake for the occasion.
  • District 5 combined the employee appreciation with its service awards luncheon at the Pocatello maintenance shed. The meal was provided by the employee organization and was very well attended.
  • Employees in District 1 will share the same concept, combining service awards with an appreciation potluck on May 20.
  • Jim Carpenter, District 2 engineer, and assistant Pat Lightfield served cake and punch to employees Wednesday and plan to extend the courtesy May 20 during the annual truck rodeo at Dworshak Reservoir.
  • Employee appreciation events are pending in districts 3 and 6. Tom Cole, District 6 engineer, formally thanked employees for their contributions Wednesday via e-mail.

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne acknowledged the contributions of state employees in an open letter Wednesday:

“Today I send my best wishes to you for Public Service Employees Recognition Week, and for State Employee Recognition Day on May 5, 2004.

“Over the past few years, when budgets have been especially tight, we have asked you to do more with less. You have responded by being innovative, efficient and by having performed magnificently.

“In recognition of your efforts, I am pleased that the Legislature approved my request to provide $10 million in salary increases for state employees and an additional $11 million to fund increased health care costs.

“As you know, I believe our state government is emerging from these challenging economic times in better shape than anyone could imagine. We have charted a path forward, and your integrity, hard work and determination have made it possible for us to establish Idaho as a leader among all 50 states.

“It is my honor to recognize you on this special day. Thank you for your service to the people of Idaho.”

Photo caption: Transportation Board chair Chuck Winder (left photo) and ITD Director Dave Ekern (right photo) deliver appreciation cookies to employee work areas at headquarters Wednesday.

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