UA honored again as a top workplace


For the third consecutive year, The University of Akron is being honored as one of the 99 best places to work in Northeast Ohio by the Employers Resource Council (ERC). UA and the other NorthCoast 99 Award recipients will be recognized on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at a banquet in Westlake.

"The continuing recognition from the Employers Resource Council signifies that our programs, practices and opportunities for employees are on par with the best, enabling us to attract and retain highly talented people," notes President Luis M. Proenza. "In turn, these employees contribute greatly to our students' success through the strong academic programs, research opportunities, community engagement projects and partnerships they help us to create."

ERC, founded 91 years ago, is now the largest organization in Northeast Ohio providing training and consulting to area companies on workplace programs and practices. Its mission is to help them attract and retain the most talented employees.

Region's best are honored

In 1999, ERC launched the NorthCoast 99 Awards to annually recognize the "99 great workplaces for top talent in Northeast Ohio." In the ensuing years, hundreds of organizations have applied for the award, and more than 300 workplaces have been honored for their efforts to attract, support and motivate talented employees.

ERC noted, in particular, the University's efforts to create a greater sense of community. The example cited was "SpringFest," which is held to celebrate the end of the academic year with food, entertainment, games and fireworks. Another event, Employee Recognition Day, is held in the fall at a home football game for employees and their families. The 2011 event will be held on Oct. 8 at the Homecoming Game.

The University of Akron, which has now received the NorthCoast 99 Award four times, finds itself among such honorees as Summa Health System, Akron Children's Hospital, The MetroHealth System, InfoCision Management Corporation, Time Warner Cable, Sterling Jewelers Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. See the full list of 2011 winners.

Workplaces undergo thorough review

The application process to be considered for the award is a rigorous one. Organizations are required to look at all aspects of the workplaces they have created by focusing on seven fundamental characteristics — flexibility, opportunity, recognition, development, security, support and talent integrity.

"I am very pleased that our University is, once again, being recognized for the commitment we have made to creating and sustaining a workplace that supports and recognizes the high performance of both individuals and teams through innovative and flexible policies and programs," says Becky J. Hoover, UA's vice president for talent development and human resources.

"While it is gratifying to get a 'thumbs up' for what we are doing, we are committed to getting even better through collaborative decision-making and creative problem-solving. We want each and every member of our community to feel connected and engaged, and to experience The University of Akron as the very best place to work, learn and grow," adds Hoover.

To learn more, visit the NorthCoast99 site.

Media contact: Laura M. Massie, 330-972-6476 or