Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Fifty-four Nebraska employers and 34 communities have won accolades for offering wellness programs to their employees.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the winners Monday of the Governor's Wellness Award. Ricketts says the businesses recognized are ``putting people first'' and creating a healthy workplace environment.

The award has two categories: the Sower Award for workplaces with established quality wellness programs and the Grower Award for businesses and organizations that demonstrate significant improvement in employee behaviors.

Awards will be presented at four separate award ceremonies between Sept. 21 and Nov. 7.

The award program is a partnership of the governor's office, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska Safety Council/Workwell.