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Great Places to Work 2018

Connecticut is home to some great companies, but here are a dozen that offer employees more than just a paycheck

  • 7 min to read
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InCord

InCord

Colchester, Montville and Norwich • Connecticut employees: 104

This manufacturer of custom netting products has been on the upswing in recent years, ballooning to more than 100 Connecticut-based employees. Now the largest company of its kind in North America, InCord makes a variety of products ranging from barrier netting for an ESPN2-televised Drone Racing League event to safety netting under bridges being worked on (including the Q Bridge in New Haven) to backyard hammocks. With five facilities spread across Colchester, Montville and Norwich, and plans to grow its Colchester headquarters in the coming years, it’s clear there are lots of opportunities for workers. Those opportunities increase through InCord’s use of shared knowledge and cross-training. Benefits include profit-sharing and tuition-reimbursement programs, company-matched 401(k), monthly company-wide events such as a summer family picnic and a winter holiday festival, and access to a condo for employees’ family vacations.

University of Hartford

West Hartford, Hartford and Bloomfield • Connecticut employees: 1,057

Spread across 350 acres of a quintessential New England college campus — yet still in the shadows of our state’s capital city — the University of Hartford is located within 10 miles of more than a half-dozen area communities. Employees of this private university value the community-like atmosphere and benefits like tuition remission (for employees, spouses and dependent children), comprehensive health insurance options, employee assistance and active wellness programs, and a retirement annuity plan in which UHart almost doubles the employee contribution. President Gregory Woodward meets with small groups of faculty and staff over breakfast throughout the year, and faculty and staff serve on numerous university committees. The area is home to a rich and diverse array of arts and culture, with more than 400 music, dance and theater performances staged annually on campus. Exhibitions in campus galleries feature the work of faculty, students and internationally known artists.

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O&G Industries

O&G Industries

37 Connecticut facilities, 30 client project sites • Connecticut employees: 888


This fourth-generation, family-owned company founded in 1923 is in the Engineering News-Record Top 400 and is the largest privately held construction company in the state. O&G has a 401(k) plan with company match, company-paid life insurance and long-term disability insurance, and low-deductible health and dental insurance with discount programs that significantly reduce the cost of employee health insurance. Headquartered in Torrington, the company presents an annual Touch-a-Truck event each May that draws about 2,000 people, in addition to other community initiatives like a holiday toy drive, cancer awareness campaign and O&G Builds — a program that engages students with the construction industry. O&G also boasts that the median tenure for their staff is 2½ times longer than the industry median for construction workers in the U.S.

Webster Bank

123 Connecticut locations • Connecticut employees: 2,369

Employees at this Connecticut-based chain of banks are offered many professional development opportunities. These include career consultation and a job-shadowing program. Employees also have access to career programs and certifications including Licensed Banker programs and the bank’s Small Business Certification, as well as access to the bank’s destination for online learning, Webster Bank University. Benefits include a 401(k) program with up to 5 percent matching contributions, and a stock purchase plan. Webster pays about 80 percent of all employees’ health care costs and contributes to health savings accounts through incentives for employees and spouses who complete preventative health screenings. The company also supports diversity through programs such as the Webster Women’s Initiative Network (WeWIN), a resource group dedicated to enhancing the professional growth of women.

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NBC Sports Group’s headquarters in Stamford.

NBC Sports Group

Stamford • Connecticut employees: 775

The athletic wing of “the peacock” has been based in Stamford since 2013 and offers highly competitive health, wellness and retirement benefit packages as well as special perks. NBC Sports Group’s benefits plans and programs include medical, prescription, dental, vision and life insurance, and complimentary benefit advisory resources from Accolade. The company offers a 401(k) plan as well as an employee stock purchase plan. There are also child and adult care programs, adoption assistance, employee resource groups, flexible summer hours, perks like movie screenings and discounts to next-door neighbor Chelsea Piers sports complex. Unwind with some foosball in the game room while sipping on a coffee from the on-site Dunkin’ Donuts. NBC Sports Group is also home to several employee resource groups which help develop leaders, enable networking and mentorship opportunities, and foster diversity of thought and people in the workplace.

HPOne

Trumbull • Connecticut employees: 125

For a company that matches people with health care plans, it should come as no surprise that HPOne offers plenty of options to help keep its employees healthy and happy. Of course there are the usual benefits including health, dental, vision, employer-matched 401(k), and annual performance bonuses. But additional perks put HPOne over the top, with a state-of-the-art gym and classes such as yoga and CrossFit all on premises, generous vacation policy and summer hours, and a monthly potluck lunch. A nine-time winner of the Connecticut Technology Council’s Tech Top 40, recognizing the fastest-growing technology companies in Connecticut, HPOne has locations in Florida, Arizona and Massachusetts, offering workers plenty of room for growth.

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Blue Sky Studios

Blue Sky Studios

Greenwich • Connecticut employees: 500-plus

There are flocks of creative folks here at Blue Sky’s 55-acre campus, the only feature animation studio on the East Coast. That creativity is shown not only in the studio’s animated films — the Ice Age and Rio franchises, as well as next year’s Spies in Disguise, featuring Will Smith and Tom Holland, among them — but in the workstations of its artists and technicians. Encouraged to decorate their workspaces to their liking, employees have created a pirate ship, a treehouse, a movie theater with a fireplace, a forested log cabin, and more. And try these perks on for size: free breakfast three times a week, food trucks during the summer, summer party at a local beach, screenings of new 20th Century Fox movies in the 100-seat Acorn Theater, employee art galleries, on-premises chair massages and haircuts, an annual ski and snowboarding trip, and loads of activities such as yoga, tai chi and zumba.

Yale New Haven Health System

390 Connecticut locations • Connecticut employees: 22,000-plus

This health care system with locations across the state has previously been recognized as a top place to work by Becker’s Hospital ReviewModern Healthcare and Working Mother magazine. It also earned a “Best Employer for Diversity” distinction from Forbes. Employees enjoy a choice of medical and dental plans, disability and life insurance plans, vision coverage, generous paid time off and a 403(b) retirement savings plan with an employer match of 3 percent. Voluntary benefits include auto, homeowners, critical illness, identity theft and pet insurance, a homebuyer assistance program, tuition reimbursement, transit benefit, financial literacy education, and an employee hardship fund. There are also many chances for professional development, and those who work here enjoy being in a top health care setting with some of the smartest and most innovative professionals in the field.

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Defibtech

Defibtech

Guilford and Branford • Connecticut employees: 120

It’s a select few companies that can say their employees contribute to life-saving work. Defibtech can say just that, as it is a leader and innovator in the design and manufacturing of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and mechanical chest compressors. Not only do employees help to design and make these vital devices, they’re also trained how to use them and how to perform CPR. At the end of the company-paid training, employees receive their own AED. Headquartered in Guilford and with a manufacturing facility in Branford, Defibtech offers health and wellness plans with preventative care, company contribution for health savings accounts and a 401(k) with company match. “Defibtechers” also get weekly company-paid lunches, a steady supply of fruit, an employee referral program and a 10-year service anniversary gift of travel.

Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic • Connecticut employees: 250

Working at this premier maritime museum and restoration shipyard affords the chance to do unique work in an inspiring setting, says Jeanne Gade, director of human resources. “Where else would your coworkers be a shipsmith, rigger, cooper, or curator of maritime photography?” She adds, “The museum’s operation generates some rare opportunities for staff members to experience the uncommon. Presently, we have the Mayflower II under restoration in our shipyard and earlier this year we had the Viking longship Draken Harald Hårfagre on our waterfront. In our exhibition halls we had some of the earliest known Viking artifacts on display along with Yale’s famous Vinland Map — a controversial object rarely seen by the public. No matter what department you are in, you have some exposure to these things and it makes coming to work each day special.”

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A/Z Corp.

North Stonington and Hartford • Connecticut employees: 325

A privately owned family company in construction, operation and maintenance services, A/Z has worked to build an atmosphere of collaboration and respect for employees in all areas. With its corporate headquarters in North Stonington and a second office in Hartford (and three other out-of-state locations), A/Z offers a range of competitive benefits that include full health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance and 401(k) matching. The main facility includes a full fitness center and basketball court open 24 hours a day for employee use, which comes in handy during down time from supporting hundreds of project sites throughout Connecticut. Construction weeks can be flexed into four 10-hour days and there’s recognition for tenure, safety and job performance. A/Z, which is in the ENR Top 400, also has an apprenticeship program and offers training in industry-related areas.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties

57 Connecticut locations • Connecticut employees: 1,750

Every year this real estate company holds an awards and services event for employees with a grand prize of $10,000. Throughout the year, employees get to help raise funds for the community; last year they raised $200,000 for the Sunshine Kids Foundation. More importantly, employees here are part of a diverse workplace with people from every continent. “I moved to Connecticut from Puerto Rico in October 2017, after Hurricane Maria hit the island, and from my experience, I can tell you that there is opportunity for growth in the company,” says Joanne Anglada, marketing coordinator. “One of the other things that makes this company special is that our president and CEO, Candace Adams, is totally and 100 percent accessible. To talk to her you don’t need to go through layers of management, she is very open to communication and fosters a transparent environment of communication.”

*The original version of this story listed the number of people employed by Yale New Haven Health System as more than 13,000. That number refers to those employed at Yale New Haven Hospital. The full health system employs more than 22,000 people. 


This article appeared in the November 2018 issue of Connecticut Magazine.You can can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale here.

The senior writer at Connecticut Magazine, Erik is the co-author of Penguin Random House’s “The Good Vices” and author of “Buzzed” and “Gillette Castle.” He is also an adjunct professor at WCSU’s MFA Program and Quinnipiac University

Mike Wollschlager, editor and writer for Connecticut Magazine, was born and raised in Bristol and has lived in Farmington, Milford, Shelton and Wallingford. He was previously an assistant sports editor at the New Haven Register.

Albie Yuravich is the editor in chief of Connecticut Magazine. A product of the Naugatuck River Valley, he's also been a newspaper editor and writer at the New Haven Register, Greenwich Time, The Register Citizen and the Republican-American.