Essential Service Awards

The Beverly A. Drake Essential Service Awards recognize the important role service workers play in our economy. Without these people who faithfully fulfill necessary roles, our economy would suffer greatly. These awards shine a bright light on these very special people.

Award recipients will be recognized at a special Economic Club meeting which will take place in early 2018.

How ESA Nominess are Indentified

Nominations are submitted by employers and the community at large. Winners are chosen by a committee established by the Workforce Development Board. Once the winners are chosen, their employer will be notified, and they in turn will notify the employee.

The Essential Service Awards will be presented to the winners at their places of employment. Award winners will also be recognized at a special Economic Club meeting dedicated to Workforce Development.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Essential Service Awards entrants must meet the following requirements:

  • Work History: Must have 2+ years of employment with same employer.
  • Location: Nominees must work in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon or Ottawa County.

Judging Criteria

Essential Service Award winners display pride in their job, a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and habits, punctuality and completes work on-time.

ESA Categories

Winners will be chosen in a variety of categories based on the criteria described above. Several examples of the types of job descriptions for individuals who may be eligible for this award are provided:

  • Hospitality: Desk clerk, ticket taker, parking attendant, bell hop
  • Retail: Clerk, cashier, stockroom worker, customer service
  • Healthcare/Elder Care: Nurses aide, lab support, patient transport, in-home aide
  • Transportation: Bus, shuttle and taxi driver, baggage handler
  • Foodservice: Server, busser, dishwasher, counter staff, cook
  • General Labor: Manufacturing, construction, agricultural
  • Government: Clerk, customer service, support staff
  • Childcare: Teacher aide, in-home daycare, school program staff
  • Nonprofit: Case aide, support staff
  • Cleaning/Housekeeping/Groundskeeping: Custodian, maintenance, housekeeper, dry cleaner/launderer

For questions about the Essential Service Awards, please contact West Michigan Works! at

Nominations accepted through Monday, January 1.