We Connect of La Porte Spurs Community Business Growth By Engaging and Empowering Employees

By: Jacqueline Ridge Last Updated: January 9, 2019

It is no secret that businesses thrive when they have a strong, passionate workforce behind them. However, finding, empowering, and maintaining excellent employees can be a struggle for many business owners. Luckily, business owners of La Porte and surrounding communities now have an additional resource for ending the struggle.

We Connect, an Employee Resource Network (ERN), wants businesses in the Region to thrive. With a strong belief in the power of engaged, energized workers, We Connect gives employers the skills to increase employee retention rate, resolve workplace issues, and spur business growth.

“Turnover and hiring has become an absolute nightmare at our manufacturing facility,” one La Porte County manufacturing business owner with over 50 employees said. “The hiring pool is non-existent, and we have become increasingly aware of how important retention is to the growth of our business.”

The business turned to We Connect. Creating an individualized program for the business, We Connect established weekly engagements for the employees to meet with success coaches. Success coaches, trained personnel of We Connect, aim to empower the employees. Employees received guidance from the success coaches to overcome personal barriers, improve employment skills, and prepare for advancement.

For the manufacturing business in La Porte County, the success coaches identified problems that prevented the employees from coming to work or being productive at work. We Connect then created and implemented a plan for resolution.

“Our leadership team has noticed a remarkable difference in just a short amount of time,” the owner said. “100 percent of the employees that work with We Connect are still working for our company. 22 percent of our employees have met with success coaches for confidential issues. We are excited to see what retention and productivity look like 6 months to a year from now.”

For some employees, We Connect gives them a second chance to become the worker they want to be. Success coaches are trained to handle countless employee situations, providing practical solutions to increase employee retention and productivity. For some, that individualized care can mean the difference between working and being unemployed.

“Without We Connect, I probably wouldn’t have a job,” James, a La Porte County manufacturing employee and We Connect client, said. “I am on my last attendance point. If I lose my job, my wife and I are going to be homeless because I am the only spouse with an income. My moped was broken, and I didn’t have reliable transportation to work. “My success coach was able to get me a ride to work and connected me with additional resources to fix my moped and keep me on track so that I can keep my job and grow with this company,” James revealed. “I am so grateful for the help.”

Success coaches of We Connect further encourage business success through their partnerships with community organizations. These partnerships offer training opportunities to employers and their employees. Providing training in basic computer skills, financial management, communication, and problem solving, these partnerships provide businesses of the Region with the tools needed to thrive.

The leaders of We Connect bring with them decades of experience in business ownership and human resources. Tom and Jackie Dermody’s 20+ years of experience as La Porte area business owners provides them with insight into the challenges that La Porte business owners face. Courtney Parthun’s 15+ years of experience as a La Porte area human resources and management leader provides her the skills to engage, inspire, and connect with employees to boost productivity. Together, the leaders of We Connect have a deep understanding of the importance of a strong workforce and the skills needed to transform any business team into a winning one.

With a strong desire to see the businesses of the Region succeed, We Connect aims to end the struggle for businesses of La Porte and surrounding areas, preventing employee turnover and spurring business growth.

To learn more about We Connect and how it can help your business, please visit or call (219) 363-7293.

We Connect is made possible thanks in part to support from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.