Muskegon County- MCC Dining Services employee Yolanda Marble received the 2017 Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Award for Food Service during a special Grand Rapids Economic Club luncheon dedicated to workforce development on Feb. 20 at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

Now in their ninth year, the awards are presented annually by West Michigan Works! to honorees in different categories.

“The Essential Service Awards recognize the important role service workers play in our economy,” noted West Michigan Works! in its event program. “Without these people who faithfully fulfill necessary roles, our economy would suffer greatly. These awards shine a bright light on these very special people.”

In order to be eligible for the Essential Service Awards, entrants must have two-plus years of employment with same employer and must work in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon or Ottawa counties.

Nominations are submitted by employers and the community at large. Winners are chosen by a committee established by the Workforce Development Board. The criteria include pride in their job, a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and habits, punctuality and completing work on time.

Marble, who operates the Grab-n-Go café in the MCC’s Stevenson Center, was nominated by Cyndi Langlois, the Associate Dean of Workforce and Talent Development at MCC.

In honoring Marble, the selection committee wrote: “Yolanda’s job is to sell food items to students, but she does so much more. When you pass by the Grab-n-Go there is frequently a crowd of students engaged in conversation with her. Staff at MCC comment that she is an extension of our counseling office. She also has a side stash of money to pay for students’ food if they can’t afford it. Yolanda starting attending college classes but is so dedicated to the students that she hasn’t taken classes in a few semesters.”

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