Association of Washington Business Awards “Better Businesses” Throughout the State

“Sixteen Washington businesses, including several from Pierce County, will be honored at the Association of Washington Business Board of Directors meeting in Seattle next week for their efforts in creating and maintaining better workplaces.U.S. Senator Slade Gorton will be on hand to present the awards during a luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, December 15 at the Marriott Hotel in Sea Tac.The 1999 AWB Better Workplace Awards were given to AWB member firms both small and large. Award categories included workplace safety; job training and advancement; and innovative benefits and compensation programs. Winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges.1999 AWB Better Workplace Award winners are:Workplace SafetyCompanies with fewer than 25 employeesCH2O, Olympia, is a winner for its success in addressing water quality, health, worker safety and environmental issues raised by the federal Clean Water Act. In 1997, CH2O became the first company in this region to be accepted into the Chemical Manufacturers’ Responsible Care Partnership program.Companies with 25-100 employeesJohansen Mechanical, Woodinville, is a winner for its outstanding efforts in protecting the safety of workers. The company’s program includes CPR training, which has twice helped employees save the lives of co-workers who have fallen victim to heart failure.Companies with 100-250 employeesPioneer Chlor Alkali, Tacoma, is a winner for its strong commitment to worker safety. Not one single employee has lost a workday due to injury in the past five years, and the company’s overall injury rates are consistently less than half of the national average.Kyocera, Vancouver, is a winner for its commitment to worker safety, resulting in an extraordinarily low accident rate. The company reinforces its safety program with weekly safety talks, frequent inspections and ongoing monitoring of work areas.Companies with 250 or more employeesIntel Corporation, DuPont, is a winner for safety programs that recognize the value of well-designed work areas and equipment in reducing the risk of worker injury. ON the company’s list of key values is “ensuring a safe, clean and injury-free workplace.”Kenworth Truck Company, Renton, is a winner for training programs that teach employees how to protect themselves, their co-workers and their families through classes on fire prevention, safe evacuation, proper lifting techniques and substance abuse prevention.Job Training & Advancement ProgramsCompanies with 25 or fewer employeesClees Miles CPA Group, Olympia, is a winner for its efforts at providing all of the company’s employees with both on and off-site training aimed at strengthening job skills and improving career advancement potential. The company also regularly recognizes employees who do outstanding work.Companies with 25-100 employeesCairncross and Hempelmann, Seattle, is a winner for its training programs that focus on helping employees realize their potential and also help the company to promote from within its ranks.Companies with 100-250 employeesWest Coast Paper Company, Seattle, receives a certificate of merit for its open-book management style that strengthens employees’ connection to the business and serves to educate them about the operation of the privately held company.Companies with over 250 employeesAgrilink Foods/Nalley’s, Tacoma, is a winner for providing worker training through a public/private partnership program. The training was aimed at increasing production, but it also enabled the company to save money without cutting jobs.Innovative Benefit and Compensation ProgramsCompanies with 25-100 employeesEducation Technology, Tacoma, receives a certificate of merit for its open-book management style that strengthens employee connections to, and understanding of, the business. Employees learn how to help the company succeed by participating in financial meetings at which quarterly production goals are set and results are reported.Companies with 100-250 employeesNelson Irrigation, Walla Walla, is a winner for an outstanding benefits program that includes flexible work hours for parents; health benefit coverage for dependents; flu shots; cholesterol screenings; and smoking cessation classes.Companies with 250 or more employeesBank of America, Seattle, is a winner for a wide range of innovative benefits that include scholarships and adoption reimbursement. The company is also active in the Welfare to work partnership program, through which it has provided training to 56 underprivileged youth, 54 of whom have gone on to accept permanent jobs at the bank.Boeing Employees Credit Union, Tukwila, receives a certificate of merit for workplace benefits including flexible work schedules; job sharing opportunities; and telecommuting. The company also helps new parents by providing pre-natal education information and a post-partum nurse visit to new parents.Continued Workplace ExcellenceTelect, Liberty Lake, receives a certificate of continued excellence. Telect has been recognized in previous years, but the judges chose to honor the company’s ongoing excellence in creating and maintaining a good place to work. Telect is especially recognized for innovative benefits that include covering the cost of day care when employees’ children are home sick from school; tuition reimbursement for higher education that rewards employees who receive A’s in class with 100 percent reimbursement; contributing $250 towards new home computers for employees; quarterly profit-sharing bonuses; free employee assistance programs; and others.Overall Winner in All Three CategoriesMcKinstry Company, Seattle, is the winner. McKinstry was nominated in all three AWB Better workplace Award categories, and could well have received awards in each one.Due to the outstanding quality of the company’s workplace safety, job training and education, and innovative benefits and compensation programs, the panel of judges chose to recognize McKinstry as overall winner.”