11 Western Pa. Workplaces Lauded

Article excerpt

Amy Lewis of Brookline, a manager at Downtown-based Maher Duessel, likes the friendly atmosphere at the accounting firm, which she says helps to create a good work environment.

"I think one of the biggest things people like about working here is we're kind of like a family," said Lewis, a certified public accountant who has worked at Maher Duessel for almost 10 years.

That is what might be expected of an employer on the 100 Best Places to Work in PA list, which Maher Duessel made this year. Eleven employers in Western Pennsylvania made the list released by Team Pennsylvania Foundation of Harrisburg, a partner in the Best Places to Work competition. Typically, about 400 companies compete to make the list, said Matt Zieger, Team Pennsylvania chief operating officer.

Employers made the list based on the results of employer and employee surveys compiled by Best Companies Group in Harrisburg. The survey asked employers about workplace policies, hiring practices and compensation. In a confidential survey, workers were asked about leadership, communications, the work environment and their relationship with the boss.

A common thread among some of the area firms that made the list were flexible working hours for employees and a recognition to balance family and work life.

Workers have the option of flexible hours and work arrangements, including job sharing, said David Duessel, a partner and co-founder of Maher Duessel in 1990. Some of the 70 Maher Duessel employees in its Downtown, Butler and Harrisburg offices arranged to have the summer off, Duessel added.

"It helps us retain good people. We allow people to be accountants while also having balance in their life," said Duessel, who had time to coach his children's sports teams.

Employees have an opportunity to advance at PW Campbell of O'Hara, which is very interested in workers "bettering themselves in education and training," said James Caliendo, CEO of the planning, design and construction management firm that specializes in the financial services industry. …