BARTOW, Fla. - If you're looking for happy employees, try Polk County on for size. A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure in Bartow and Clark Environmental in Mulberry both were named in the August issue of Florida Trend magazine as being among the best companies to work for in the state.
A-C-T was named in the mid-sized category, while Clark made the small category list. Neither company has ever had layoffs. A-C-T President Rob Kincaid also engages his 83 employees, offering the workers different programs and events to involve them in the community such as the United Way, various chambers of commerce and rotary clubs, not to mention pizza, ice cream and popcorn parties on Fridays.
"We're very proud of the award", Kincaid said. "We've got some great folks, and this really is a testimonial to them that we're able to provide great service for our customers as well. We believe when you have happy people, they translate that into happy customers".
Among the happy people is senior estimator Joe Whittington, who's been at A-C-T for 17 years. A few years ago, he saw first-hand how much the company felt about him.
"I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in 2006", Whittington said. "And the company stood right beside me all the way through it. I had a bone marrow transplant in 2009 at Moffitt (Cancer Center), and so far, so good".
A few miles west on state road 60 in Mulberry lies another one of Florida's best companies, Clark Environmental. It's a thermal treatment and waste processing facility. Family atmosphere is a big selling point along with the employees receiving birthday parties, luncheons and paid anniversaries. President Beth Clark also endorses "safety bingo". Each employee receives a bingo card at the beginning of the month, and every time they get a safety question right, they get a chip, with the winner earning a $25 gift card.
"I'm a firm believer that if you're happy in your workplace, you're going to be more productive", Clark said. "And we all spend way too much time at work as it is. So why come to work and be miserable, so we try to have fun here too".
"I don't think I've ever worked anywhere that people respected you the way they do here", said accounts payable clerk Cristy Caswell. "You don't feel like you're less of a person because of your job title here. Everybody is just on an equal playing field".
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