SEATTLE – The Association of Washington Business (AWB) presented 16 member employers with its annual 2004 Better Workplace Awards. These awards honor companies that are innovators in workplace safety, job training and advancement, and benefit and compensation programs.
The 2004 AWB Better Workplace Awards recognize AWB member businesses, both small and large, that go the extra mile to provide a family-friendly work environment that promotes safety and enables employees to achieve their best. In recognizing these outstanding companies, the awards also draw attention to specific examples of workplace policies that may help other companies identify and develop programs aimed at boosting morale, increasing productivity, improving recruitment and retention, and reducing the costs of training.
An independent panel of judges reviews all of the nominees and decides who gets the award based on several factors. AWB also gives Continuous Commitment awards to companies that have won the award in previous years and have continued to be innovators in providing a better workplace.
The following are the 2004 Better Workplace Award winners broken down into the categories in which each company won and by the number of employees they have:
Continuous Commitment To A Better Workplace
Pacific Seafood Co., Mukilteo – For their excellent health care benefits and bonus program.
Tim's Cascade Snacks, Algona – For their priority to support employees who wish to improve their lives through education and their generous benefits to employees who serve in the military.
Lydig Construction, Inc., Spokane Valley – For providing the safest projects for all their employees through an innovative safety program based on incentives.
Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc., Seattle – For their impressive progress in creating a safe work environment by training every employee to recognize potential hazards.
Wheelabrator Spokane Inc., Spokane – For receiving the OSHA’s VPP star. This designation is the highest safety award in the country, which recognizes companies with outstanding occupational safety results.
Wright Runstad & Company, Seattle – For its comprehensive program to address all aspects of health safety, and for creating a secure, non-violent, and drug/alcohol free workplace.
Alcoa Intalco Works, Ferndale – For its creative strategies in reducing employee noise exposure and increasing workplace safety in a business well known for its hazards.
Waste Management of Washington, Seattle – For its Mission to Zero safety model. Designed for the unique characteristics of the industry, the model has drastically reduced the amount of injuries on the job.
State Farm Insurance, Dupont (Certificate of Merit) – For their commitment to employee security, and their training of employees to handle possible workplace violence.
Job Training & Advancement Programs
Columbia Vista Corporation, Vancouver – For their creative strategy to train its workforce as it upgrades its operations with technology through a program called CVC University.
Olson Engineering, Inc., Vancouver (Certificate of Merit) – For their very generous package of compensation and employee benefits, and developing a number of venues to acknowledge accomplishments of employees.
University Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Mukilteo – For their comprehensive training program that helps to create a skilled workforce that benefits both the employer and the worker.
Labor Ready, Inc., Tacoma – For their commitment to diversity through innovative recruitment techniques. They use a standardized interview process to ensure the capabilities and talents instead of an interviewer’s “gut” feeling.
Innovative Benefit/Compensation Programs
Pacific Seafood Co., Mukilteo – For its priority to meet the needs of its employees and their families through health care reimbursement accounts. These accounts allow employees to avoid paying up-front expenses on routine health needs.
Columbia Vista Corporation, Vancouver – For their commitment to assisting employees with the forgivable home loan program, which assists employees in purchasing their first home.
Pro-Tech Services, Inc., Mukilteo – For paying the full premium for health, dental prescription and vision coverage for the entire family.
Roth Hill Engineering Partners, LLC, Bellevue – For providing an extensive benefit plan to their employees, which was a factor in their ranking as the 10th best civil engineering firm to work for in CE News’ annual ranking.
Westport Shipyard Inc., Westport – For providing their employees with an excellent set of benefits and a sharing of a bonus program where each employee is awarded a bonus with the completion of each yacht.
Winners of the All-Around Better Workplace Award
Wheelabrator Spokane Inc., Spokane – Wheelabrator deserves special recognition for its overall excellence. Its benefits and job training programs are superb. Most impressive of all is its workplace safety program, awarded WISHA/OSHA’s VPP Star designation. Congratulations to Wheelabrator for being such a credit to Washington’s employer community!
Waste Management of Washington, Seattle – Waste Management’s Mission to Zero safety program has had great results and is evidence of an employer that really cares about its workers. For its unique efforts to create an excellent work environment, Waste Management deserves our praise. The company’s ranking as an overall winner is indeed, well deserved.