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AUGUST 2, 2020

2020

TOP WORKPLACES For profiles of all the companies featured in this section go to stltoday.com/business/workplaces


How Top Workplaces are identified BY BOB HELBIG | Energage

ho determines Top Workplaces? The best judges: the employees who work there. For the ninth year, the Post-Dispatch has partnered with Philadelphia-based Energage to rank the St. Louis area’s Top Workplaces. The process is based on a scientific survey of employees who rate their workplace culture. It also gives company insights about what makes them unique. “In times of great change, it is more important than ever to maintain a connection among employees,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward based on real-time insights into what works best for your organization.” The process began in January, when the Post-Dispatch began news coverage and promotions to welcome people to nominate companies as Top Workplaces. Energage also contacted area companies. Throughout the process, 1,471 employers in the region were invited to have their employees take the survey. Any organization was eligible to participate, provided it had at least 50 employees in the region. Employers could be public, private, nonprofit or governmental. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program. For 2020, 186 employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 45,120 people throughout the St. Louis region. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 28,748 responded, either on paper or online. For this year’s winners list, 140 St. Louis-area employers were ranked

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based on their employee survey feedback. The 24-question employee engagement survey gathers responses on issues relating to workplace culture: ALIGNMENT — where the company is headed, its values, cooperation, effective meetings COACHING— managers care about concerns, are helpful, encourage employee development CONNECTION — employees feel appreciated, work is meaningful, working at full potential, clued in to each other ENGAGEMENT — productivity, retention, recruiting LEADERSHIP — confidence in company leaders PERFORMANCE — execution, openmindedness, innovation, clued-in leadership THE BASICS — pay, benefits, flexibility, training, expectations Employers that score high enough are recognized as Top Workplaces. Employers are categorized by size, and they are ranked within those size groups to accurately compare results. Energage also determines special award winners based on standout scores on specific survey topics. Did you look over the list and wonder why a particular company was not on it? It might be because it chose not to participate, or because it did not score well enough in the survey process. Energage occasionally disqualifies employers based on questionable results detected through statistical tests it runs to ensure organizations are accurately administering the survey. Want your organization to participate in the 2021 program? Just go to stltoday.com/nominate to submit a nomination.

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

Workplace satisfaction The importance value shows how strongly each statement correlates with how employees in the St. Louis region rate their workplaces. The closer the value is to 100%, the more important the statement is. I believe this company is going in the right direction 74.28%

This company enables me to work at my full potential 71.98%

I feel genuinely appreciated at this company 70.30%

My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful 70.18%

This company encourages different points of view 66.75%

Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company 66.68%

This company operates by strong values 66.35%

At this company, we do things efficiently and well 64.03%

I have confidence in the leader of this company 62.67%

My manager cares about my concerns 62.15%

Meetings at this company make good use of my time 60.73%

New ideas are encouraged at this company 60.62%

My manager helps me learn and grow 60.36%

Employee health and wellness is a priority at this company 60.09%

People with a wide variety of backgrounds do well at this company 59.50%

I get the formal training I want for my career 58.80%

There is good interdepartmental cooperation at this company 58.10%

My manager makes it easier to do my job well 57.58%

I feel well informed about important decisions at this company 57.40%

This job has met or exceeded the expectations I had when I started 57.30%

I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life 47.34%

My pay is fair for the work I do 46.96%

My benefits package is good compared to others in this industry 31.20% stltoday.com


stltoday.com

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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TOP LARGE EMPLOYER

CarShield is driven to succeed Yet company maintains casual, fun vibe, with hands-on management BY TIM BRYANT

Special to the Post-Dispatch

O’FALLON, Mo. — For a company with more than 800 employees, CarShield pivoted with remarkable speed to workfrom-home mode when the coronavirus pandemic began rolling across the nation in early March. Within days, its information technology staff devised laptop computer adaptations. Within two weeks, the company’s headquarters here and its satellite offices in St. Peters were hosting just 10% of CarShield’s employees. Employees described CarShield as a nimble company with passionate owners who move fast and have built an exciting, fun workplace. CarShield — a provider of vehicle extended service contracts — is ranked first among the region’s large companies in this year’s Top Workplaces survey. And CarShield moved quickly to protect employees when the coronavirus pandemic hit, imposing an early travel ban, said Mike Carter, the company’s general counsel. “We got well ahead of it,” he said. “Everybody was in a new ballgame without any rules.” By mid-June, the company began to allow employees to volunteer to return to the office. Carter, who has been with CarShield almost from the company’s founding in 2005 — first as its outside lawyer — said the owners have always made employees’ well-being a high priority. Rick Brettelle, Nick Hamilton and Mark Travis — the owners — are handson but approachable bosses, Carter said. “They’re not remote,” he added. “They grew up here. Their kids go to public school here. They’re always at the office.” Carter said that CarShield’s rapid employment growth recently is likely to continue. Some workers who had left for 4

HILLARY LEVIN PHOTOS, HLEVIN@POST-DISPATCH.COM

Andrea Schaeffer, left, a paralegal, and Mike Carter, the general counsel at CarShield, are shown outside the company’s office in June.

CARSHIELD Address • 503 Pearl Drive, O’Fallon Website • carshield.com Phone • 800-974-9385 Founded • 2005 Description • Extended vehicle service contract marketing firm

RIGHT: Trophies from community and minor league sports teams that CarShield has sponsored are displayed in the entry hallway at CarShield.

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

stltoday.com


TOP LARGE EMPLOYER

HILLARY LEVIN, HLEVIN@POST-DISPATCH.COM

Jeff Starke, quality control manager at CarShield, gives Jillian Starke, his daughter and an intern with the company this summer, a fax to send in June.

TOP 15 LARGE WORKPLACES 500 or more employees in the region

Rank

Company

Founded

Ownership

Headquarters Location

1

CarShield

2005

Private

O’Fallon, MO

2

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

2014

Nonprofit

St. Louis

3

National Information Solutions Cooperative

1964

Nonprofit

Lake Saint Louis

4

Daugherty Business Solutions

1985

Private

St. Louis

5

St. Louis County Library

1946

Public

St. Louis

6

Drury Hotels Company LLC

1973

Private

St. Louis

7

Missouri Baptist University

1964

Private

St. Louis

8

First Community Credit Union

1934

Nonprofit

Chesterfield

9

Pattonville School District

1930

Public

St. Ann

10

Francis Howell School District

1881

Public

St. Charles

11

Keeley Companies

1976

Private

St. Louis

12

Maritz

1894

Private

Fenton

13

Lindbergh Schools

1949

Public

St. Louis

14

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

1873

Partnership

St. Louis

15

Wentzville R-IV School District

1937

Public

Wentzville

stltoday.com

other jobs are returning to CarShield, he said. Carter said the typical company response is, “You can start tomorrow. Come by and get your laptop.” CarShield sponsors amateur sports teams and participates in community events. The owners are sports fans — Hamilton, for example, is a big hockey fan — and have amassed a large sports memorabilia collection displayed at the office. Artifacts include a pair of Muhammad Ali’s boxing shorts and a Wayne Gretzky hockey jersey. “It looks like someone from the Smithsonian came in and established a walking exhibit,” Carter said. Brandon Evans, 34, assistant to CarShield’s head of operations, said the company has room to advance, adding that managers are always on the lookout for employees with leadership potential. A variety of job duties keeps him fresh, he said. “There’s no typical day,” Evans said. The office has a gym, a lounge and a game room, plus indoor and outdoor basketball hoops, employees noted. Managers expect employees to produce even though the work atmosphere is relaxed, Evans said. “There’s no dress code,” he added. “It’s fun.” John Vorbeck said he hopes he found his final job at CarShield. Vorbeck, 56, held top analytic jobs at a variety of global companies before becoming CarShield’s marketing head less than a year ago. Vorbeck said the owners’ “passion and excitement” helped convince him that CarShield was the right place for him. Management’s strategy to “fail fast” and move on quickly if a business initiative doesn’t work is a refreshing change from his previous workplaces. “At this stage of life, you don’t often get these opportunities,” he said. With expansion in mind, the company is building out 30,000 square feet of additional space at its headquarters, including a cafe to be run by Salty’s Fresh Mex, a Tex-Mex restaurant in Cottleville. Robin Deubner, who has held a variety of management jobs at CarShield, said the expansion and amenities show that the owners appreciate employees’ hard work. “They’ve always treated us like family and it’s been like that since the beginning,” she said. @tbry51 on Twitter

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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THANKS

to our wonderful employees for making St. Louis County Library one of St. Louis’ best places to work.

We are grateful to all of our employees We would not be a 9x Top Workplace Winner without you! To join the HDIS Family, visit us at www.hdis.com/careers 6

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

stltoday.com


BUILD YOUR CAREER AT A TOP WORKPLACE

Get started today: stlouisfed.org/careers

Title Partners Agency Tops the St. Louis Real Estate Market ST LOUIS -- St. Louis-based Title Partners Agency LLC., is honored to be among this great city’s Top Workplaces this year. It’s an accomplishment that recognizes the company’s roots here, its commitment to a strong culture for both employees and customers and its embrace of innovation for a better future. The business supports multiple charities and non-profits in the St. Louis area including St. Louis Children’s Hospital and The Backstoppers. Now with eight offices spread across the St. Louis market, Title Partners is the convenient hometown choice of Realtors, lenders and real estate buyers and sellers when they need a title and escrow partner they can trust. Title Partners is proudly underwritten by 2 of the highest rated underwriters in the country as well! Established in 2006, the locally owned and operated agency has helped numerous families in Missouri and Illinois into their next home over the years. But Title Partners provides more services than that. In addition to residential closings, the commercial division of the business has worked on thousands of transactions too, closing over 1300 deals in 2019 alone. So much about real estate is about community building; a part of the job that is not lost on any of the 60 plus members of the Title Partners team.

www.tpatitle.com

stltoday.com

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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HELPING COMMUNITIES THRIVE. Join our vision-driven team. team jobs.coreandmain.com 8

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

stltoday.com


8X 8X

Connectria provides award-winning managed cloud, managed services, and compliant cloud security solutions to more than 1,000 customers worldwide. Connectria is the largest IBM i (AS/400) cloud provider in the world. Connectria was the first HIPAA compliant managed hosting company and the first company to deliver HIPAA and PCI compliance in AWS and Azure. Through the addition of WSM in 2019, Connectria has become a leader in providing cloud migration and transformation services for organizations of all sizes.

We’ve established a unique culture where every individual goes “the extra mile” to provide unparalleled customer service. From how we treat our customers, to how we treat our employees, we ensure that

everything we do, every decision we make, is grounded in honesty, sincerity, and integrity.

Connect with us to learn more at 800.704.4058.

2020

connectria.com | 800-704-4058

stltoday.com

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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TOP MIDSIZE EMPLOYER

Buddy, left, and Patrick Wood own and operate Wood Brothers Realty in St. Louis. The brothers are shown in their offices in June. CHRIS KOHLEY, CKOHLEY@POST-DISPATCH.COM

Family vibe at Wood Brothers Learning, leading, connecting with its staff and community are mission for realty group BY TIM BRYANT

Special to the Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Owners Buddy and Patrick Wood of Wood Brothers Realty admire the colorful photos of Missouri Botanical Garden flowers hanging in their office’s main hallway but are eager to guide a visitor around a corner to view a painting by one of the firm’s sales agents. An abstract oil by agent Alvin Horst, the 10

WOOD BROTHERS REALTY Address • 6500 Chippewa Street, St. Louis Website • woodbrothersrealty.com Phone • 314-353-8888 Founded • 2011 Description • Commercial and residential real estate agency

painting depicts Wood Brothers Realty’s face-painting booth at the annual Art in the Park art fair at Francis Park, five blocks

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

south of the company’s office on Chippewa Street. (This year’s fair was canceled because of coronavirus concerns.) The brothers point out that Horst’s painting shows a large crowd at the company’s booth. The painting and its prominent display exemplify Wood Brothers Realty’s connection to the community and the closeness of its employees. Wood Brothers Realty is ranked first among midsize companies in this year’s Top Workplaces. The Wood family’s history in real estate goes back to 1948 when grandfather L.K. Wood Sr. got his broker’s license. L.K. Wood Jr. later joined his father in the business. Wood Jr.’s sons, Buddy and Patrick, started their company in 2011.

Buddy Wood still uses the big, dark wooden office desk at which both his father and grandfather sat. The Woods have built a business that includes residential and commercial property listings throughout the St. Louis area. The brothers said their family history and value of fair dealing are the core of their business. The brothers said they treat employees and customers like family. “Learning and leading” is the company’s motto, they added. The firm has grown to 157 employees, including agents, who work as contractors, which is standard practice in the business. Jerry Vancardo, a longtime agent, said he prefers Wood Brothers Realty’s famstltoday.com


TOP MIDSIZE EMPLOYER ily atmosphere to any of the national real estate firms. “I don’t like corporate things,” Vancardo said. The absence of bureaucratic layers means Vancardo can speak with the owners whenever necessary and easily get the firm’s help with property listing and marketing information. “It’s more personal than anything else,” he said. The coronavirus pandemic has forced changes to selling real estate, which is built on in-person interactions, including house showings. To safeguard prospective buyers, house showings are scheduled at least 15 minutes apart. Patrick Wood said the company follows CDC guidelines to protect agents and buyers. “We strive to keep people safe,” he said. House showings done by online video are becoming more common. The brothers said a couple that recently moved to St. Louis from Washington, D.C., bought a house in the Hill neighborhood based solely on a video shot by the owner. More often, such videos are professionally done, the brothers said. The closing procedure also has changed. Instead of the buyer going through the process inside a title company office, a company agent comes to the buyer’s car with the closing documents in a sealed plastic valise, the brothers said. The buyer fills out the paperwork, which the agent retrieves. After the closing is done, the agent returns to the buyer’s car, puts the documents in the trunk and tells the buyer to leave them there for three days. Protecting Wood Brothers’ employees also is a company priority. Only recently has the company resumed sales meetings at the office — with social distancing, of course. Many employees attend meetings through video conferencing. At the start of the pandemic, the brothers livestreamed consoling messages. “We did the old fireside chats, like Roosevelt,” Buddy Wood said. The company’s agents are a mixture of old hands and newer agents, including some just getting their real estate license. Donna Peters, the human resources director with Wood Brothers for nine years, said the company even mentors agents who struggled at other real estate firms. “They come over here,” she said. “And we get them going.” @tbry51 on Twitter

stltoday.com

TOP 50 MIDSIZE WORKPLACES 150 to 499 employees in the region

Rank

Company

Founded

Ownership

Headquarters Location

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Wood Brothers Realty RedKey Realty Leaders TJ Wies Contracting, Inc. Brown & Crouppen Law Firm The Pisa Group Inc Panda Restaurant Group Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties USA Mortgage, a Division of DAS Acquisition Company, LLC Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC Guild Mortgage Company ARCO Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd, LLC CliftonLarsonAllen LLP CSC Safety National Casualty Corporation Burns & McDonnell Orchard Farm R-V School District Anders Minkler Huber and Helm LLP HOK Vetta Sports Carboline Company Connectria, LLC GFI Digital Core & Main Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. Jefferson R-VII School District Windsor C-1 School District Residential Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Ungerboeck Systems International, Inc. CBIZ Network Solutions, LLC Slalom Nextstep For Life, Inc. Abstrakt Marketing Group National Medical Billing Services Accenture Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Royal Canin USA PERFICIENT Buckingham Wealth Partners Distribution Management Inc. St. Louis University High HDIS Brewer Science Inc Wunderman Thompson St. Louis Meramec Valley R-III School District Cambridge Air Solutions AW Health Care Booksource Premium Retail Services Inc. City of Wentzville

2011 2012 1994 1979 1989 1973 2002 2001 1869 1960 1992 2011 1953 1899 1942 1898 1959 1965 1955 1988 1947 1996 1999 2017 1979 1952 1922 2018 1985 1988 2001 1980 2009 2003 1951 1946 1968 1997 1994 1972 1818 1986 1981 1997 1968 1963 2001 1974 1985 1855

Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Partnership Private Private Private Public Partnership Private Private Private Public Partnership Partnership Private Public Private Private Private Private Public Public Parent company Private Public Private Nonprofit Private Private Public Private Private Public Parent company Private Private Private Private Parent company Public Private Private Private Private Government

St. Louis St. Louis Lake Saint Loui St. Louis St. Charles Rosemead, CA St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Chesterfield St. Louis St. Louis Minneapolis Wilmington, DE St. Louis Kansas City St. Charles St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Maryland Heights St. Louis St. Louis Festus Imperial Glen Carbon O’Fallon, MO Maryland Heights Seattle, WA Mapaville St. Louis St. Louis Chicago St. Louis Lake Saint Louis St. Louis Clayton St. Charles St. Louis Olivett Rolla, MO St. Louis Pacific Chesterfield St. Louis St. Louis Chesterfield Wentzville

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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Creating a World Where Every Child Loves to Read Booksource is a leading provider of classroom libraries for classroom teachers. Our family-friendly workplace puts people first, and our passion for literacy and exceptional customer service are as important as the bottom line.

Family-Owned & Operated Since 1974 www.booksource.com 800.444.0435 BOOKSOURCE @BOOKSOURCE @WEAREBOOKSOURCE BOOKSOURCE BOOKSOURCE

People Powered. Customer Driven.

5th Straight Year!

Thank you to all of our employees for your continuous hard work and dedication. It’s your efforts that continue to drive our success, and is the reason for Safelite being one of the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Top Places to Work!

safelite.com | 800-800-2727

Our employees have been the most important members of the Hager family for over 170 years.

Thank you! 12

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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ACHIEVE

CATS AND DOGS FIRST. PEOPLE ALWAYS. Thanks to our Associates who put cats and dogs first to make Royal Canin one of St. Louis’ TOP WORKPLACES.

Every day, we are motivated to achieve more for our clients, staff and community. We are proud to say that this commitment is what continues to make us a Top Workplace.

www.royalcanin.com WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE TODAY? We can help you make it happen. ©ROYAL CANIN SAS 2020. All Rights Reserved.

stltoday.com

anderscpa.com | (314) 655-5500

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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TOP SMALL EMPLOYER

American Metals values its staff Company forges bond with its workforce, and supports employees on the job and off BY TIM BRYANT

Special to the Post-Dispatch

HAZELWOOD — “HR wants to see you” might be the last thing almost any company employee wants to hear. Not so at American Metals Supply Co., where human resources head Shelly Liley embraces the company ethos of supporting workers and carries the nonscary job title of director of employee engagement. Supporting workers on the job and even in their non-work lives is part of the corporate culture at American Metals, a wholesale distributor of steel, copper, HVAC components and other metal parts. American Metals, based in Hazelwood, took first place among small-size employers in this year’s Top Workplaces survey. Company employees, the survey showed, are more confident in their workplace than a benchmark of other employees of small area companies. More than a decade ago, American Metals got through the severe recession without laying off any employees and is keeping everyone on the payroll during the current coronavirus pandemic. The company has 121 employees in eight locations, including about 50 people at its headquarters and a warehouse in Fenton. Liley, who has been with the company for 15 years, said American Metals retains the friendly vibe of the family-run company founded in 1962 in Springfield, Illinois, by Al Hassebrock, a building materials salesman. His granddaughter, Chrissy Nardini, is American Metals’ current president and runs the company. Liley said that when the company’s home office was largely closed at the start of the pandemic, Nardini came in every day to try to keep workers’ surroundings as virus-free as possible. “Not every company president would be working and using Clorox wipes to make sure every employee is safe,” Liley 14

HILLARY LEVIN, HLEVIN@POST-DISPATCH.COM

From left, Shelly Liley, director of employee engagement; Jessi Willhoite, HR assistant; Chuck Hitchcock, vice president operations; and Chrissy Nardini, president of American Metals Supply, are shown in their Hazelwood warehouse in June.

AMERICAN METALS SUPPLY CO. Address • 1617 Park 370 Court, Hazelwood Website • americanmetalssupply.com Phone • 636-349-5560 Founded • 1962 Description • Wholesale distributor of sheet and coil steel, prefabricated duct and fittings, and HVAC products said. The company’s ability to avoid layoffs is a result of keeping the employee head-

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

count low and lean. “We’ve stayed people-efficient,” Nardini said. Al Hassebrock’s son, Steve Hassebrock, joined the company in 1971 and in 1990 expanded the firm to the St. Louis area. Nardini, Steve Hassebrock’s daughter, spent years working as a public accountant before joining the family firm. “As a girl growing up, I never had a strong interest in sheet steel,” she said. Eventually, she asked her father about a job and came aboard in 1997. At first, her tasks included answering phones and working on the company catalog. She soon moved up to the chief finan-

cial officer’s job and has been president since 2006. Her father remains with the company as chief executive. Expansion under Steve Hassebrock and Nardini has been steady. In 2003, the company opened a warehouse in the Kansas City area and two years later expanded to Springfield, Missouri. The Hazelwood warehouse and headquarters opened in 2009 to augment the existing facility in Fenton. Between 2010 and 2018 came expansions to Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Dallas. American Metals provides customers one-day deliveries within 200 miles of its warehouses. Nardini said rapid deliveries are good stltoday.com


TOP SMALL EMPLOYER TOP 75 SMALL WORKPLACES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

Company American Metals Supply Co. Top Flite Financial Beckner Painting & Contracting The Hart-Dushaj Agency Title Partners Agency LLC Helmkamp Construction Co. The Simon Law Firm P.C. McClure Engineering N-Store Services NCADA 1904labs Maryville Consulting Group Inc. Rossman School Flat World Global Solutions Golden Oak Lending ITF GROUP LLC Budnick Converting Inc. U.S. Paint Corporation Elite Orthopedics LLC Experitec Inc. Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. StraightUp Solar Buildingstars International UNCOMN LLC Southwestern Hearing Centers Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical Services Delmar Mortgage Hager Companies Madison Mutual Insurance Company Sapper Consulting Gainsight Technology Partners Inc. Stone Technologies Inc. Unity Hospice New American Funding Horner & Shifrin Inc. KnowledgeLake Inc.

for customers and the company’s truck drivers, who seldom have to spend a night away from home. Trucks loaded in the afternoon roll out the next morning, giving drivers time to make their drops and be home in time for dinner. At company offices, sales meetings in non-virus times typically conclude with a social outing. For now, the firm uses Zoom to hold virtual happy hours stltoday.com

Founded 1962 2002 1961 2019 2006 1938 2000 1953 1983 1965 2016 1994 1917 2006 2001 2012 1952 1931 2015 1975 1977 2006 1994 2010 1947 1993

Ownership Private Private Private Partnership Private Private Private Private Private Nonprofit Private Private Nonprofit Partnership Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Partnership Private Private

HQ Hazelwood Williamston, MI Maplewood St. Louis St. Louis East Alton St. Louis St. Louis Chesterfield St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis O’Fallon, MO St. Louis St. Charles Columbia, IL St. Louis Chesterfield Chesterfield St. Peters St. Louis Maryland Heights Scott Air Force Base St. Louis Collinsville

1966 1849 1920 2014 2009 1995 1996 1992 2003 1933 1990

Private Private Coop/Mutual Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Private

St. Louis St. Louis Edwardsville St. Louis Chesterfield St. Louis Chesterfield Skokie, IL Tustin, CA St. Louis St. Louis

on Thursdays. In addition, American Metals contributes to employee 401(k) retirement accounts and opens $500 savings accounts for each baby born to workers’ families. The company helps distressed workers directly with its “hardship fund” managed by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. The $40,000 fund helps employees cover home damages resulting from

38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75

Company Founded Coolfire Solutions 2010 The Watering Bowl 2010 PayneCrest Electric Inc. 1954 Westport Pools Inc. 1967 Ideal Landscape Group 1986 Renewal by Andersen of St. Louis 2012 The Fitness Edge Inc. 1984 Call for Help Inc. 1970 Associated Bank 1970 Utilitra 1979 CAPREIT 1993 Safelite AutoGlass 1947 Amitech Solutions 1999 ThreeBridge Solutions 2009 TWM Inc. 1946 Mosby Building Arts LTD 1947 Sunset Transportation 1989 Object Computing Inc. 1993 Provident Behavioral Health 1860 Dodge Moving & Storage 1902 The Lipton Group Inc. 1957 Veterans Care Coordination 2011 Rodgers Townsend 1996 Client Services Solutions 2007 Hughes Leahy Karlovic Inc. 1977 St. Louis Cold Drawn LLC 1971 EPIC Systems 1995 Kforce 1962 Case Engineering Inc. 1995 Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions Inc. 1998 Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty 2005 Brand Addition 1986 LookAfter Hair Company 1985 Sunrise R-IX School 1952 Lutheran High School South 1957 Store Supply Warehouse LLC 1994 Electro Savings Credit Union 1941 Saint Louis Bank 2005

natural disasters and fires or workers facing other challenges, including child care payment when schools are closed as a result of a national pandemic or a spouse experiencing job loss. Workers seeking hardship help of up to $5,000 apply anonymously through the United Way. Among American Metals’ recent hires is Jessi Willhoite as assistant HR person.

Ownership Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Nonprofit Public Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Private Nonprofit Private Private Private Public Private Private Public Private Public Public Private Private Public Private Public Nonprofit Private Nonprofit Private

HQ St. Louis St. Peters St. Louis Maryland Heights St. Louis Maryland Heights St. Louis East St. Louis Green Bay, WI Edwardsville Rockville, MD St. Louis St. Louis Minneapoli Swansea St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Earth City St. Louis Lake Saint Louis St. Louis St. Charles St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis Tampa, FL Fenton Caseyville Clayton St. Louis St. Louis De Soto St. Louis Bridgeton St. Louis Ladue

She joined the company early this year after stints at an electrical supply company and a home remodeler. She said the difference between American Metals and her previous employers is dramatic. “It’s day and night,” she said. “Everybody is incredibly excited to be here every day.” @tbry51 on Twitter

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

15


MEET THE STANDOUTS among this year’s Top Workplaces

Special recognition goes to employers who scored high marks in key areas STAFF REPORT

The following special award recipients were chosen based on standout scores for employee responses to specific survey statements. Employees rated these statements on a seven-point scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Leadership: Mark Travis of CarShield, part of the Top Workplaces large employer category From employee responses: “He has been in our shoes as a common employee. He understands the struggles the job can bring, and is very understanding of our needs.” “I would love to move up in CarShield as a manager and seeing amazing, caring people run the company really makes me want to work harder.” “They are not afraid to try new things. They welcome new challenges and take risks. That shows confidence in the rest of us knowing they believe in us to make it work.” Leadership: Mark Wilhelm of Safety National Casualty Corp., part of the Top Workplaces midsize employer category From employee responses: “Mark is transparent in communications, appears to be very strategic in his thought process, he has a good sense of his sense of humor which is essential these days, and he is friendly without being fake.” “The way he speaks, very confident and is very interested in how we feel about whatever situation is current. He takes time to explain at company meetings what the slides are and in greater 16

Mark Travis, CarShield

Chrissy Nardini, American Metals Supply Co.

Mark Wilhelm Safety National Casualty Corp.

detail for newer employees.” Leadership: Chrissy Nardini of American Metals Supply Co., part of the Top Workplaces small employer category From employee surveys: “I’m empowered by our owners to make impactful decisions daily. I’m not micro managed and have a great team around me. If I see something worth pursuing I’m encouraged to do so. I feel confident that this is where I’ll retire from.” National Information Solutions Cooperative wins the Direction award by scoring highest on the statement: I believe this company is going in the right direction. The Pisa Group Inc. wins the Managers award by scoring highest on the statements: My manager helps me learn and grow. My manager makes it easier to do my job well. My manager cares about my concerns.

Top Flite Financial wins the New Ideas award by scoring highest on the statement: New ideas are encouraged at this company. The Hart-Dushaj Agency wins the Doers award by scoring highest on the statement: At this company, we do things efficiently and well. St. Louis County Library wins the Meaningfulness award by scoring highest on the statement: My job makes me feel like I am part of something meaningful. Beckner Painting & Contracting wins the Values award by scoring highest on the statement: This company operates by strong values. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis wins the Clued-in senior management award by scoring highest on the statement: Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company.

Wood Brothers Realty wins the Communication award by scoring highest on the statement: I feel wellinformed about important decisions at this company. Title Partners Agency LLC wins the Appreciation award by scoring highest on the statement: I feel genuinely appreciated at this company. Coolfire Solutions wins the Work/ life flexibility award by scoring highest on the statement: I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life. Daugherty Business Solutions wins the Training award by scoring highest on the statement: I get the formal training I want for my career. ARCO wins the Benefits award by scoring highest on the statement: My benefits package is good compared to others in this industry.

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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4 tips to get hired from home Trying to land a new job amid a pandemic can be tricky, but not impossible BY LAUREN SCHWAHN

NerdWallet

Job hunting has always been a little stressful. OK, a lot stressful. A global pandemic certainly hasn’t remedied that. Rather, it’s changing the landscape. For one, it’s heating up competition. Millions of newly out-of-work Americans are chasing employment simultaneously. Applicant pools are also expanding geographically as remote work becomes widespread. Plus, navigating the entire hiring process from home presents its own obstacles. If you’re in a community that hasn’t fully reopened or are seeking a permanent work-from-home job, it’s likely the new reality. Here are four ways to fine-tune your at-home job hunt.

1

Build your skills

These uncertain times boast at least one advantage for job seekers: Many resources for online learning are now free or more affordable in response to impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. So make yourself more marketable by learning or developing a skill, or getting a certification (think mastering Excel or dipping a toe into project management). You can find courses for just about any topic on platforms like Coursera and Udemy. “Then, put that bullet point on your resume. Even if they don’t have a formal certification process, that’s still a big deal to say you invested that amount of time in yourself,” says Julie Kratz, founder of Next Pivot Point, a leadership training organization. This step can be even more essential if you’ve had a gap in work experience during the pandemic.

JAMIE LEE FINCH, TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Companies across the U.S. have turned to video conferencing, including with services such as Zoom, to connect with employees who are working from home and to even hire new ones.

2

Give yourself credit

Maybe you don’t meet 100% of the listed requirements for a new position or career path. Don’t let that stop you from applying. Be confident and try not to apologize for or otherwise call attention to anything you’re lacking, says Jeannie Kim, vice president of content at career site The Muse. “What you should do instead is really play up the things that you do have. Play up the skills you have that are in the job description. Play up the background that you have, and make sure that you’re telling the story of how you’re qualified to do the actual responsibilities of the job.” RIGHT: Job seekers sit a safe distance apart as they wait to be called into the Heartland Workforce Solutions office in Omaha, Neb., on July 15. NATI HARNIK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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3

Highlight your adaptability

4

Prepare for virtual interviews

Businesses across the country are settling into new normals. That might involve reconfiguring workspaces or learning to operate remotely. You’ll make a good impression by demonstrating you can roll with changes. How do you do that? Showcase personality traits and attitudes like flexibility, empathy and creativity, known as soft skills. “With people not able to be in the same place as their co-workers, being able to show that you have strong communication and collaboration skills is really important right now,” Kim says. Resumes and application forms often revolve around hard skills: the technical, measurable skills like proficiency in a particular software or programming language. But your cover letter and interview can be suitable places to insert soft skills. Transferable skills are also crucial to mention, especially if you’re looking to change roles or industries. Those are skills that apply to a wide variety of roles and can include both soft and hard skills, such as sales, writing or leadership. Previous telecommuting experience can give you a leg up, too. “Experience managing a remote team would be huge right now because very few managers have managed like this,” Kratz says. “But even having successfully contributed to a virtual team, especially if you can lead with the accomplishments you achieved on that team, would go really well.”

ELAINE THOMPSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A customer walks out of a Seattle U.S. Post Office branch that was advertising job openings in June. The coronavirus pandemic is complicating the job search process for many Americans. stltoday.com

The interview process could be mostly, or entirely, virtual — even if the job itself isn’t slated to be. Standard interview advice still applies: Dress professionally, ask smart questions and so on. But you should also adopt a few new best practices. If you’re granted an interview, ask the company what the process will look like. How long will it take? Whom will you meet with? Will it be over Zoom, Google, Skype or something else? Then, do a dry run. Test the audio, video and internet connection on your device. Make sure there’s nothing distracting or inappropriate in the visible background (a ceiling-high stack of dirty dishes isn’t a good look). Get familiar with the software so you’ll know where the controls are located. “You don’t want to have your first experience with that software or that platform be struggling to log onto it while you know that a recruiter is waiting,” Kim says. For good measure, set up a mock interview with a friend who can let you know how everything looks and sounds on the other end. Finally, tell the people you live with when you’ll need access to shared equipment and quiet, uninterrupted time.

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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If you have already begun opening your workplace in phases, Mobile Response Diagnostics can partner with you to “re-set” your baseline knowledge of your workforce. • The evening before your testing day/s, sanitize your offices providing a clean environment for re-opening. • Along with providing hand sanitizers, masks, temperature screening, work-distancing policies, and education, your workplace is now the gold standard in workplace safety.

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THANK YOU TO OUR DEDICATED TEAM! for making HOK a Top Work Place 3 years in a row.

S ’ E R E TH

E N O NG

For the third year in a row, proud to be voted a top-rated workplace. To our employees, our families, our players – thank you.

THI

NG HOMKE I M O C S T THAT BE ADOG AFTER WOR T O Y O UR

Now hiring coaches for instructional programs at vettasports.com/jobs

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DAYCARE | BOARDING | TRAINING BRENTWOOD - DOG GROVE - SOUTH COUNTY - ST PETERS

TO OUR ELECTRO FAMILY,

THANK YOU. WE’RE HONORED TO BE A TOP WORKPLACE IN ST. LOUIS

Join our team at electrosavings.com stltoday.com

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Recent university graduate Sahar Shabani is shown in London in June. Shabani, 22, did a three-month remote internship with a development charity based in Thailand from her parents’ home in South London. MATT DUNHAM, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SUMMER, INTERRUPTED The pandemic upended internships, often a key steppingstone to a job BY KELVIN CHAN

Associated Press

LONDON — Yadeen Rashid was flying high in February. He’d just earned stellar grades in his latest semester at Virginia Tech university, where he was 22

in his third year double-majoring in economics and political science. And he’d just landed a summer internship at a data analysis company. Then the pandemic hit, triggering shutdowns, restrictions and pushing the U.S. economy into recession. Many companies canceled their internships programs and rescinded job offers — including NTT Data, where Rashid was set to intern. “I was really upset, not just because finding an internship is hard, but be-

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

cause I actually was very excited to work with them very specifically,” said Rashid, 21. He said he bears no ill will to the company and has been looking for other internship opportunities. “But, you know, as time goes on, it gets a little less optimistic.” Rashid’s experience shows how the global coronavirus crisis, which has already thrown much of the business world into turmoil, has also disrupted summer internships, an important steppingstone to working life for many

university students and recent graduates. Half of all internship openings in the U.S. have been cut since the pandemic outbreak, and 64% of those in the U.K., according to research by Glassdoor, the career website. Hundreds of companies, including AirBnb, Fedex, Gap and Walt Disney Co., scrapped their summer programs, according to an online database. Companies use summer internships as a pipeline for recruiting graduates stltoday.com


while young people benefit from exposure to real working life. They can serve as a source of income or a graduation requirement. More than one in every six young workers globally have stopped working during the pandemic, the International Labor Organization said last month. The U.N. labor agency added that the pandemic’s long-term fallout could lead to a “lockdown generation” scarred throughout their working lives. Some companies have made their internships virtual — mirroring the workfrom-home trend that’s swept office life during the pandemic. E-commerce giant Amazon was hiring more than 8,000 interns for its summer program, which it’s turning into “a virtual model.” Global consulting firm EY said more than half of its 15,000 internships this year will be in virtual formats. Interns will be assigned a “peer counselor,” someone who joined the company in the past two years, as well as a more senior “reporting counselor” who will both regularly check in on them, said Trent Henry, EY’s global-vice chair of talent. At the Associated Press, some internships were being done remotely, some deferred until next year and others have been canceled. One benefit of a traditional internship — networking — is harder to do virtually but companies are trying to help. Amazon is providing mentoring and weekly “fireside” chats via remote video conferencing. U.S. air conditioner maker Lennox’s 54 summer interns can join lunchtime talks with senior executives by video conference. The company still wants to treat them to a good lunch so it’s considering sending them gift cards to buy food, said recruiter Lexie Williams. Those who have done virtual internships say it’s a way to learn remote working skills that are more important now that COVID-19 has changed how people work. Recent graduate Sahar Shabani, 22, did a three-month remote internship with a development charity based in Thailand from her parents’ home in South London. Shabani applied in February through Queen Mary University of London, where

TOBIAS BIDSTRUP VIA AP

Tobias Bidstrup takes a selfie in Taipei, Taiwan, in March during a language study trip. Bidstrup, a student at Copenhagen University, had an internship lined up at Procter & Gamble, but chose to defer it for a year rather than do a virtual version.

YADEEN RASHID VIA AP

Yadeen Rashid is shown in Laurel, Maryland, earlier this year. Rashid, a student at Virginia Tech university, is one of many young people who had their summer internships canceled because of the Please see INTERNS, Page 24 pandemic.

stltoday.com

CATARINA SILVA VIA AP

Catarina Silva is shown in Porto, Portugal, in June. Silva, 22, has been doing a part-time virtual internship through Aston University in Birmingham, England, as part of her master’s degree program. TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

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Soon-to-be graduates make a socially distanced walk to their commencement ceremony in June in Saltillo, Miss. Many graduates had their summer internship plans upended by the coronavirus pandemic. THOMAS WELLS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Interns From 23

she earned a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations. She checked in by phone every day with her supervisor, who assigned her to research and write reports about topics like corporate social responsibility and then give video presentations on them using Zoom. “Whether it was in person or not, you still gained those skills or valuable experience,” she said. “It’s a new way of experiencing work.” Catarina Silva, 22, has been doing a part-time virtual internship with an Asia-based social enterprise through Aston University in Birmingham, England, as part of her master’s degree. 24

Silva, who returned to her parents’ home in Porto, Portugal, spends her mornings working on her dissertation and afternoons building a donor database and working on strategy for the foundation. She says she’s gotten used to the unstructured nature of working from home. That means, for example, night owls could work after midnight, she said. “There are a lot of people in my generation that like that flexibility.” Silva, who has already lined up a job after graduation with the consultancy Accenture, said she’d like to work in an office, “but at the same time, you will always have to know how to work remotely.” She has done two previous in-person summer internships, at a bank

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

and a fashion chain in Portugal, and acknowledges that interning remotely makes it harder to network. “It’s good when you go to the office and meet people and have lunch with them, so you build human connections,” Silva said. “With a virtual internship that’s more difficult.” Universities with work placement or study abroad programs have scrambled to replace them with remote options, said Edward Holroyd-Pearce, president of Virtual Internships, a British firm that helped arrange Silva’s and Shabani’s programs and specializes in Asia. “We’ve seen a huge demand because of coronavirus,” said Holroyd-Pearce. The number of students his company has placed has jumped tenfold this year, with inquiries coming from the U.S.,

Britain, Australia, the Middle East and many other countries, he said. Still, the remote option doesn’t appeal to everyone. Tobias Bidstrup, a third-year international business student at Copenhagen Business School, was offered an internship at Procter & Gamble’s London offices this summer. But after the pandemic hit Europe, the company offered to let interns to do it virtually or defer it for a year. Bidstrup, 21, chose to wait. “Starting at a new company, doing the internship and you’re meeting people and being introduced to new tasks and also getting to know how the culture is at a company — I think that’s really difficult to do virtually compared to doing it in person at the office,” he said. stltoday.com


Panda Express is honored to be recognized as one of the

Top Workplaces in

St. Louis To learn more about the Panda family, visit us at www.pandacareers.com

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ROCKY ROAD TO RECOVERY Black-owned businesses are often concentrated in sectors hit hard by virus

Donica Johns is shown in her home office in New Orleans in June. Johns hasn’t benefited much from the aid offered to small-business owners during the crisis, and she isn’t alone. Johns applied for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program but hasn’t heard back. KATHLEEN FLYNN, REUTERS

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YURI GRIPAS, REUTERS

Gary Connell had only recently opened Healthy Hair salon when shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak forced a nine-week disruption to his business. He’s shown in June at his business at Salon Plaza in Wheaton, Maryland, near Washington. BY KATANGA JOHNSON AND JONNELLE MARTE

Reuters

WASHINGTON — After 15 years working as a hairstylist in other people’s salons, Gary Connell opened his Healthy Hair studio in Montgomery County, Maryland, in early March, sinking his savings into a two-chair shop in a busy mall. It hadn’t even been up and running for a full month when stay-at-home orders were issued because of the novel coronavirus, shutting down the mall. Connell, 57, went two months with no income before Maryland loosened restrictions in early June, allowing him to take a limited number of clients. He stltoday.com

couldn’t access the federal government’s small-business loan program, or get unemployment insurance. His situation isn’t unusual. U.S. Black-owned small businesses are highly concentrated in retail, restaurants and other service industries most affected by shutdowns and social distancing. Their owners typically have had fewer resources to fall back on and a tough time getting aid, research shows. Economists are sounding alarms that coronavirus-related damage may be permanent. “A lot of these business owners that are shut down right now are not going to come back,” said Robert Fairlie, an economics professor at the

University of California, Santa Cruz who wrote a paper about the pandemic’s impact on small businesses. The number of Black businesses owners in the United States dropped by 41% between February and April to 640,000, compared to a 17% drop in the number of white business owners, Fairlie’s analysis shows.

Fewer businesses, resources U.S. small businesses are where U.S. jobs are created, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during congressional testimony last month, and any wave of insolvencies would weigh on the economy for years. “That’s all

the more so true of minority businesses because of the important role they play in our economy and in their communities,” he said. Black business owners are underrepresented, making up about 7% of the 15 million small business owners who were working in February before the coronavirus pandemic hit, compared to more than 13% of the U.S. population in 2019, census data shows. Black-owned businesses also had fewer resources to fall back on when the pandemic struck; some 21% were financially “distressed” at the end of Please see RECOVERY, Page 28

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Recovery From 27

2019 based on their profitability, credit score and earnings, compared to just 5% of white-owned businesses, according to a Federal Reserve survey. Distressed firms were more likely to use the owner’s personal funds, take on debt or close or sell the business if they faced two months without revenue, the Fed study found. Minority-owned businesses were less likely to borrow from banks, with only 23% of Black-owned businesses having turned to a bank for a loan in the last five years, compared to 46% of white-owned businesses, the survey showed. Long-standing wealth disparities leave Black entrepreneurs with fewer funds to fall back on during the downturn. The typical Black family had a net worth of $17,150 in 2016, a tenth of the $171,000 held by white families, according to the Brookings Institution. “That’s just not enough money to sur-

vive a pandemic when you’re trying to run a business and you have to pay rent, maybe you’re renting equipment,” said Fairlie. “You have a lot of costs that don’t just stop during a pandemic.” Government programs such as the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), haven’t always been helpful. Only 12% of Black- and Latino-owned businesses that sought assistance from the federal government received the amount they requested, and 41% were denied, according to a survey by UnidosUS and Color of Change. “The challenges that Black-owned business and business owners of color face are not new but they have been exacerbated by this crisis,” said Tom Feltner, a director of research at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Upside down Sage Ali, co-owner of Washington, D.C.’s U-Street restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl, said the family-owned company had been poised to have its best year yet after opening a new location in a casino in

2020 St. Louis Post Dispatch Top Workplaces Proud to be recognized for our culture, values and most importantly, our people!

Baltimore in March, and being featured in United Airline’s in-flight magazine. The restaurant’s sales dropped as much as 85% in the coronavirus crisis and it failed to get a PPP loan initially, but it did in the second round. “It’s not a lot of money and there are a lot of bills other than payroll and our business is still down more than 50% for sure,” Ali said. Many of the restaurant’s workers have been too fearful to return to work, and a Virginia location closed altogether, after the nearby area became what Ali called “a ghost town.” “We’re struggling. Imagine small Black-owned businesses that don’t have as much time in the game and don’t have as much recognition, and it’s got to be more challenging,” Ali said. Hair salon owner Connell said he and his wife, a personal trainer who was also out of work, faced technical problems every time they tried to apply for unemployment benefits, as have millions of others. “Everything feels upside down right now,” Connell said.

www.sandberglife.com 314.231.3332

Additional reporting by Makini Brice

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More consumers have been supporting Black-owned businesses in the months after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed in police custody in late May, sparking protests over racism and police brutality. But lack of capital means some firms are struggling to meet the demand. Every time Donica Johns, 48, founder of the plant-based skin care brand Natural Mixologist, replenishes her most popular face masks and facial serums, the items sell out within days. Johns, who lives in New Orleans, has not been able to restock as quickly as she would like, because she doesn’t have the capital reserves to order more ingredients. As her company’s only employee, she decided not to apply for a PPP loan, but said she could benefit more from a flexible loan to help her rebuild inventory. “It’s just so hard to get the capital we need,” said Johns. “When you’re strapped for cash it’s a very difficult balancing act.”

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Create a path of overall mental wellness for your valued employees!

Is your workplace struggling with this “new normal?” Has the pandemic added a new level of stress for your employees, as they try to balance working from home and working on-site with their family life? Research shows that employees enjoy increased performance, miss fewer days of work and experience overall wellness when they have access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Want to learn more about an Employee Assistance Program? Schedule a free meeting with us!

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Size up your digital footprint What will employers learn if they Google your name? It’s best to check it out yourself BY KATHLEEN FURORE

Tribune Content Agency

What will prospective employers find when they search for you online? It’s an especially important question today, as businesses rely on the internet more than ever during the coronavirus shutdown. What are some steps job seekers can take to optimize their online profiles? If you don’t think what you look like online really matters, you might want to think again — especially if you’re looking for a new job or plan to look for one soon. According to a recent Harris poll, 78% of U.S. adults believe it is very important to look up information about people and/ or businesses online before deciding to interact with them. “The range of information employers might find about you online is vast — it will likely be both professional and personal, positive and/or negative, and accurate and/or inaccurate — and typically, it’s a combination of all of these,” says Rich Matta, CEO of ReputationDefender, a firm in the field of online reputation management and privacy. “Even though employers are mostly looking for professional information and accomplishments, they will also stumble upon personal information about you, particularly if it shows on the first page of your Google search results.” Add to that the fact that employers often use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to see a candidate’s online presence, and the importance of optimizing your profile becomes crystal clear. “Often, ATS will parse links from the candidate’s resume, such as their LinkedIn profile or portfolio, and put it in a candidate profile so that the recruiter can get a more holistic view of the candidate,” explains Linda Qu, marketing coordinator at Jobscan. “In some cases, the ATS can actually scrub popular so30

LOIC VENANCE/AFP

Employers are increasingly searching online to learn what they can about potential hires from social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and more. cial media sites to find the candidate’s personal social media profiles.” As Anthony Naglieri, vice president of strategic communications at Petal, LLC, says, “When it comes to the job search, you are who the internet says you are.” So what’s an avid social media user to do?

Google yourself Pay careful attention to what appears on the first page of results. “Studies show that four in five people do an online search before interacting or doing business with others, and over 90% of these people never go past page one,” Matta says. “It’s vitally important that job seekers establish some degree of control over how they’re represented on the first page of their Google search results.” ReputationDefender offers a free reputation report card that helps people find out how they appear to others online.

Review public profiles Naglieri says to make sure you clear your internet cache or use an alternate

TOP WORKPLACES • ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH • 08.02.20

browser to see what turns up when people search for you. “Put quotes around your name or key terms to narrow down the search,” he adds.

Go beyond LinkedIn Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated is definitely important, but it’s not enough to make you stand out — which is why it is important to update your info on all platforms you use, Matta says. “If your LinkedIn profile is out of step with the rest of your online reputation, that can even raise red flags,” he cautions. “Prospective employers are going to want to see a consistent picture of you across multiple channels.”

where you’re regularly active and where you may no longer be.”

Develop a portfolio Naglieri notes that this is standard practice in creative fields like writing, design and photography. “But most anyone can and should do it, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic,” he says. “Hiring managers want to learn about past performance and successes — make it easy for them.”

Monitor your mentions Naglieri says setting up Google alerts is the easiest way to do this, but notes there are others. “I prefer leveraging RSS feeds through Feedly, he says.

Review privacy settings

Create a website

“Be true to yourself but know exactly what information you’re making publicly available about yourself at all times,” warns Naglieri. “Don’t forget to review the privacy settings closely within each site. The internet always remembers, so be sure to review sites

Matta encourages job seekers to create their own websites “to build a wellrounded digital persona” — an online hub that contains their bio, work history, published content or blog entries, images, and other important information. stltoday.com


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To all of our Cambridge Air Solutions team members who made us one of the 2020 Top Workplaces, we simply say

TO OUR DEDICATED TEAM MEMBERS

Thank you for your hard work and service to others!

www.cambridgeair.com • 800.899.1989 S-Series HTHV Heaters • M-Series Make-Up Air • ESC-Series Evaporative Cooling

Thank You to our wonderful team of employees! Thank you to our amazing employees for making McClure Engineering a Top Workplace 5 years in a row!

McClure Engineering Engineering Your Success

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To all of our Saint Louis Bank team members,

THANK YOU for making us a Top Workplace. You are the difference! At Saint Louis Bank, we believe communities and banks are built on relationships. Hard-working people helping other hard-working people pursue their dreams. We're a local community bank focused on the success of our clients and our entire region.

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Core Brand Values Make Community Possible Heads Up, Eyes Open Renew Trust Every Day Unleash Inspiration Member

Pride of Place Principled Progress

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