Local companies ranking well among PA's 100 best places to work......
Posted on Sun, Dec. 10, 2006
Best Places to Work in PA
Local companies top 100 Best Places to Work list
By JERRY LYNOTT email@example.com
Benco placed 28th on the list of 50 large-sized companies with more than 251 employees. Two others from Luzerne County also made the cut; Pride Mobility Products Corp. of Exeter earned 17th place and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania came in 48th. The list of medium-sized companies with 25 to 250 employees also contained two local firms. Hazleton-based Troy Manufacturing Inc., a maker of over-the-counter and personal care products, reached No.8 and Solid Cactus, a Wilkes-Barre e-commerce Web site developer, landed the 21st ranking.
Outside the walls of Benco Dental Co. word gets around about its reputation as an employer.
Sally Sidorek picked up on it.
“I heard that Benco was a great place to work,” she said.
Six months into her job as lease coordinator at the Wilkes-Barre-based company, the Dallas woman is a believer and so are the organizations that compile the list of the 100 Best Places to Work in PA.
Benco placed 28th on the list of 50 large-sized companies with more than 251 employees. Two others from Luzerne County also made the cut; Pride Mobility Products Corp. of Exeter earned 17th place and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania came in 48th.
The list of medium-sized companies with 25 to 250 employees also contained two local firms. Hazleton-based Troy Manufacturing Inc., a maker of over-the-counter and personal care products, reached No.8 and Solid Cactus, a Wilkes-Barre e-commerce Web site developer, landed the 21st ranking.
Both were new to the list. The others have been there before.
Aside from enjoying the recognition, the five companies expect to use the coveted spots to promote themselves, attract employees and further improve their workplaces.
“It definitely helps to be listed among the best places to work for recruiting purposes,” said Joselle Lencicki, senior manager of human resources for Blue Cross.
The recognition is well-earned and the health insurance company aims to keep it that way by analyzing the results of a confidential employee survey that makes up two thirds of a company’s score. The employer survey accounts for the remaining third.
“Some of the areas that get identified we leverage,” in order to maintain them, Lencicki said.
Pride studies the data and works at improving areas where it scores low, said Ann Sadusky, senior vice president human resources and administration.
“Each vice president receives the overall data and we make corrections based on the information,” Sadusky said.
At Solid Cactus, company president Scott Sanfilippo planned to meet with the managers and review the results. It was the first time the company participated in the survey.
Sanfilippo pointed out his company’s business is completely Internet-based and likely has a younger and more technologically advanced workforce than others on the list.
“I think we do above and beyond” what many of those on the list do in terms of technology, he said. But there is room for improvement in other areas.
“It would be great to be number one,” he said.
A few years ago Benco received its worst score in the category dealing with how employees feel about the company’s contributions to the community, said George Rable, vice president of culture and people.
Even though the company was a big contributor, “we were not doing a very good job communicating to the employees,” Rable said. The company created a community booster committee to spread the word to its 400 employees.
Benco, a family-owned business started in 1930, uses the best places survey to supplement the two it conducts in-house annually. The resulting policies and practices have enabled the company to make the list, added Rable.
“We have a good management team. We think we’re hiring the right people,” he said.
The employees’ input to the operations is valued and rewarded and their ideas put to work as well. Sidorek suggested adding a service schedule to the logs kept in the company’s fleet of vehicles.
A walk through the company’s office drew positive responses from Russ Grodack, tech support manager and Dwayne Taggart in receiving.
“I think it’s the people that are here more than anything,” Grodack said of why Benco made the best places list for a fourth year. The Kingston resident has been with the company six years.
“They just treat you really well,” said Taggart a 15-year employee from Hanover Township.
Pride employees expressed similar job satisfaction whether they were the ones contacting field service technicians, making sales calls to the West Coast or assembling power wheelchairs.
Between the company’s headquarters in Exeter, its Duryea production facility and sales representatives its workforce totals nearly 1,000.
Charlotte Shaefer of Pittston Township worked in the garment industry before Pride hired her four years ago. She works in the company’s field service tech customer service department.
The good impression she received when she interviewed with the company remains. “You get recognized for your good work and your benefits are outstanding,” Shaefer said.
Jane Rosentel of Forty Fort started working at Pride two years after her son told her about the company. He was working for the company at the time and said it was great place, she said.
Today she is a regional account executive handling West Coast territories.
“Everybody is very professional and helpful here. And that’s why this company is so great,” Rosentel said.
A few miles away, in an assembly room across the Susquehanna River Linda Savoroski pulled a plastic housing from a rack. She’s been with Pride for 10 years and works as a line leader for sub assembly of the company’s Jazzy model.
“The company goes out their way to help you out in any situation,” Savoroski said.
The Best Places to Work in PA is a joint effort by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Central Penn Business Journal. The survey of companies is conducted by ModernThink, a partner of the Harrisburg-based Best Companies Group. A participation fee ranges between $695 and $1,195, depending upon the size of the company. To be eligible for the list, companies must complete the entire assessment process. The deadline for registration for the 2007 list is May 18. For more information, visit www.bestplacestoworkinpa.com
Jerry Lynott, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7237.