For Candida Deckard, helping create jobs in the Ozarks is a highlight of her career.
“My proudest professional accomplishment is being part of the CNH Industrial Reman LLC joint venture,” says Deckard, director of human resources and safety for the Springfield-based company, an initiative between SRC Holdings Corp. and London-based CNH Industrial. “To be able to help start a successful new company that has created good jobs for the community is a tremendously satisfying experience.”
Deckard says the company started with nine employees and now employs 270. Deckard’s involvement with the venture includes implementing retirement, medical and worker’s compensation plans and a structured training program.
“Being able to be part of the joint venture has helped me grow professionally and filled me with a great sense of pride in the teamwork it has taken to create this successful new company,” she says.
After a decade as assistant manager at local Wal-Mart stores, Deckard ventured into human resources. She worked first in retail and health care before moving to her current position, where she especially enjoys helping people grow in their careers.
“I find it truly rewarding to help others develop and advance professionally,” Deckard says. “When I see potential in others at work, we discuss their goals and create a development plan to help them achieve their goals and advance in the company.”
She conducts mock interviews and hosts application and resume sessions to help students improve their skills. She also works to mentor motivated employees – such as a safety assistant who began with no prior experience, who has now been promoted and earned an industry award.
“I am extremely proud to be able to work with this professional young woman and see her grow and attain professional recognition for all her hard work,” Deckard says.
She enthusiastically lends her experience outside of work, too. Deckard is on the Springfield Ballet Inc.’s board of directors as human resources chairwoman and guiding the ballet with employment issues.
“I am happy to donate my time to this nonprofit organization that cannot afford to hire an HR professional,” she says.
Deckard is also a member of the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board, a volunteer organization – one of 14 in Missouri – that covers Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties.
“We strive to facilitate, advocate and allocate resources for workforce solutions resulting in employer engagement and improved quality of life in the region,” she says. “My passion is workforce development. I get a great sense of fulfillment from being able to help with community growth through workforce development.”
Deckard has worked with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce on several projects, including one in conjunction with a Community Foundation of the Ozarks grant designed to increase higher education attainment. She helped craft an employer toolkit to create tuition-assistance programs or better utilize existing ones.
“I truly believe that if companies will invest in their employees, that the company and the employee both will reap the benefits,” she says.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.