BEND, Ore. -

The Oxford Hotel in Bend was the scene of the recent Employment First of Deschutes County "Workforce Inclusion: Supporting Excellence" award banquet. Bend Mayor Jeff Eager was on hand to present awards.

Round Butte Seed received the evening’s “Best Small Business” Inclusive Employment award for their positive contributions to the Central Oregon community, particularly their relationship with Bend-headquartered Abilitree.

Round Butte has a long-standing relationship with the non-profit to help them with their mission of providing meaningful employment to people with disabilities. A crew of three people, plus a supervisor from Abilitree, help with the bagging of small packages of grass seed, wildflowers, and other items.

According to Rick Leeper of Round Butte Seed, “The workers from Abilitree work with enthusiasm and participation, and the quality of their work is excellent. They are a real asset to our company and have become part of our Bend team.”

The “Workforce Inclusion” award was the first of its kind, and Employment First of Deschutes County plans to make the Banquet an annual event. It is the latest of many awards Round Butte Seed, founded in 1961, has earned for their ongoing commitment to community service.