The New Jersey Business & Industry Association will honor 13 companies that have achieved excellence in business success, environmental protection, human resources management and community services at its annual Awards for Excellence Reception on October 19 at The Pines Manor in Edison.
Every year, NJBIA honors a select group of employers from among its 20,000 members, as selected by an independent panel of judges.
“It is with great pleasure that we congratulate these outstanding member companies on their selection as Awards for Excellence winners,” says NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “NJBIA’s member companies provide 1.1 million jobs in New Jersey and do a tremendous amount of good work for their employees and our state.
“The NJBIA Awards for Excellence is our way of recognizing the very best of the best for their outstanding achievements.”
The Business Success Award is presented to companies that have contributed to the state’s economic growth through the expansion of their businesses.
Artech is an IT and Non-IT staffing company that has achieved tremendous success as a Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE). With more than 24 years of experience and more than 7,500 employees globally, Artech is the No. 1 largest women-owned IT staffing company and 11th largest IT staffing company overall in the U.S. as well as one of the 100 largest global staffing companies. Artech’s clients include more than 70 Fortune and Global 500 companies and government entites.
In 2015, Artech created new jobs for more than 200 people in New Jersey, and saw its revenues grow by 10 percent, even as the market for its services was becoming saturated.
Fifteen years ago, Artech became a certified MWBE, which has been a door opener in terms of opportunity to compete with larger companies in the same industry space. Since being certified in 2001, Artech has seen its annual revenues soar from $11 million to almost $400 million. Artech continues to grow and improve. For example, the company has implemented an online learning program for its employees with more than 4,000 top-quality courses taught by industry experts.
Most of Artech’s job growth has come in the realm of IT, but it is a diverse enterprise, experiencing significant growth in administrative, engineering, finance/accounting and several other staffing categories as well. New employees’ salaries cover a wide range, starting from $35,000 annually and ranging upward of $150,000 a year.
Garvey Corporation is an American manufacturer that thrives in an age of global commerce. Garvey manufactures all of its material-handling equipment in New Jersey from start to finish, and thanks to its innovation and quality, the company sells its conveyors, accumulators and automation systems to companies around the world.
Garvey prides itself on being able to solve clients’ problems. For example, when the pharmaceutical industry asked for a new method for drying vaccine vials, the company was able to reduce the time the vials were out of refrigeration to just 10 minutes. The old way left vaccines out of refrigerated storage for 24 to 48 hours.
Garvey continues to innovate. In 2014, it adopted lean manufacturing methods, redoing the entire layout of the plant to reduce wasted motion. The company also designs its machines with 3D modeling software and then fabricates the components using lasers and modern machine tools.
All of this has paid off in sales. Revenues jumped from $10.9 million in 2014 to $15.7 million last year, and this year, the company is on pace to reach the $20-million mark. At the same time, Garvey has expanded its workforce from 76 to 90 employees, including a new controls engineer who will enable Garvey to add robotic systems to its line of products.
iCIMS has established itself as one of the fastest growing talent acquisition software providers in the industry. Its growth has accelerated dramatically in recent years; iCIMS added 220 employees in 2015 alone, after hiring 153 employees in 2014 and 45 in 2013. The company has experienced more than 30 percent year-over-year revenue growth and picked up another 1,000 clients last year.
The company says its employees are the key to its success, and that is reflected in the corporate culture. Rewards are based on results and integrity, not employee tenure. Every employee, no matter what level, works directly with today’s leading organizations to make an impact on their bottom lines. iCIMS encourages collaboration between employees and management on nearly everything that goes on in the company.
But even the best employees need to have a good product to be successful. iCIMS’ cloud-based platform enables organizations to build talent pools and recruit top employees using the largest partner ecosystems of HR technologies in the industry. It backs that up with its own store of thought leadership and research called the Hire Expectations Institute. Its website has seen the number of visitors increase by 237 percent in one year and the number of new visitors increased by 28 percent.
The Environmental Quality Award is presented to companies that have done outstanding work to preserve or enhance the quality of the environment in New Jersey.
Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood did not offer much in the way of greenery or access to the Passaic River for its 50,000 residents, that is, until Mott MacDonald helped create Newark Riverfront Park.
Working with the City of Newark and the Trust for Public Land, the global engineering firm spearheaded the effort to turn contaminated waterfront properties into a 16-acre park along the Passaic River.
Mott MacDonald took a comprehensive environmental assessment of more than 15 individual parcels of land and developed an integrated remedial and site-development strategy. The challenge was to find a way to safely develop severely contaminated brownfields, including the design, preparation of construction documents, and environmental permitting.
The project began with the installation of an environmental soil cap over the entire site and the removal of harmful materials from certain hotspots. A 50-foot riparian zone that had suffered tremendous erosion also was restored.
Next came the park amenities. The most striking of these is an 800-foot orange boardwalk made entirely of recycled materials. Walking and biking trails, as well as a community-gathering and performance area, are enhanced with decorative lighting and a floating dock.
Mott MacDonald’s efforts have attracted national attention. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Newark Riverfront Park its Smart Growth Award, and Landscape Architecture magazine described it as “unquestionably a monumental achievement.”
If your electric supplier is PSE&G, you don’t need to put solar panels on your roof to be a consumer of solar energy. PSE&G already has installed thousands of solar panels on rooftops, parking lots, utility poles, brownfields and landfills throughout New Jersey and has tied them directly into the power grid for the benefit of all of its customers.
In total, PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program will generate 125 megawatts per year – a big help to achieving the state’s goal of procuring 22.5 percent of all electricity from renewable resources by 2021.
As a double environmental benefit, the program has put hundreds of acres of otherwise unusable land to work in an environmentally friendly way. PSE&G has targeted brownfields and landfills for the bulk of their solar farms, placing 150,000 solar panels on 170 acres across eight sites. Those solar panels alone are enough to power about 7,500 homes annually.
The Outstanding Employer Award is presented to companies that demonstrate a creative and forward-looking approach to managing their human resources.
At Carbon Express, the sleeper compartments on its long-haul trucks are a thing of the past. It’s a matter of principle. Carbon Express Owner Steven Rush feels that if he can sleep in a clean hotel when he travels on business, then so should his drivers.
Carbon Express drivers spend their off-hours sleeping in a clean hotel room – no spending the night in a bunk that other drivers have slept in and no driving around truck stop parking lots hoping to find a place to park. Carbon Express drivers use a service called the Corporate Lodging Card to select from thousands of hotels across the country with either the CLC book or phone app.
Drivers are treated to a clean room, bed and a bathroom, and in most cases, take advantage of the workout room and pool at the hotels. Plus, most can start their day with a free breakfast before hitting the road again. As an added benefit, drivers keep the hotel chain point cards, and by the time they go on their family vacation, they have enough points for free rooms and upgrades.
This comes at a very large cost to the company every month, but the benefits of respecting the drivers, allowing them to get the proper rest and the overall safety benefits, make it worth the cost.
For professional support, the firm hosts Maser University, an online education system providing over 1,500 courses that are accessible 24 hours a day. It includes technical classes needed to acquire and maintain certifications as well as soft-skill classes like management and leadership. Courses can be customized, and the system keeps track of licensure and CE requirements automatically. This application provides more flexibility, contributing to employees’ work/life balance.
Maser Consulting also has a formal mentorship program that enables employees to broaden their skills while building relationships of professional trust and respect.
As an advocate for health and wellness, Maser Consulting hosts an in-house “Biggest Loser” weight-loss contest. There is also a concurrent activity challenge. Participants in both compete for prizes provided by the company.
Realizing the importance of employee morale, Maser Consulting implemented several initiatives and committees to ensure an enjoyable work environment. The Community Service Committee and Green Team offer outreach venues to allow employees to help local communities and/or the environment, while the Social Committee promotes team building through small events across the company. Additionally, the firm maintains a formal employee appreciation program.
The Community Service Award is presented to companies for outstanding service to their communities.
Community service is part of AH’s business and its corporate values. As a professional services firm focused on nonprofit organizations, AH employees see firsthand how much good work their clients do. So AH has made a commitment to helping those that support the community.
Employees are encouraged to participate in community outreach programs on a regular basis. The company even allows them to volunteer during working hours, contributing over 200 volunteer hours per year.
The employees select the charities they want to help. The list includes Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, holiday food drives, and local animal shelters, among others.
This year, the group focused on helping MANNA, which prepares and delivers meals to those battling life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. Volunteers participated in a work day at MANNA’s kitchen, helped launch MANNA’s Pie in the Sky PR program and supported the Nourish Awards.
Corporate culture at PBL stresses engaging in activities that have a real impact, so in addition to the company’s well-rounded collection of community service efforts – the annual food drive, Toys for Tots, and the United Way’s Stuff the Bus – PBL focuses its attention and resources on two in particular: a high school scholarship and internship program, and environmental protection with the Middlesex County Department of Parks and Recreation.
The PBL-Piscataway High School Biomedical Research Scholarship provides $1,000 per student each year for up to four years of college. However, the monetary award is just the beginning. Scholarship recipients also receive paid, summer-long internships at the company as the first stepping stone in their careers. Scholarship recipients who have interned at PBL for one summer or multiple summers have gone on to top medical schools and graduate schools, and to careers in chemical engineering and public health.
With the Parks and Recreation Department, PBL employees assist with county parks projects that – for one reason or another – have gone unaddressed. In recent years, PBL employees have helped to construct hiking trails, assisted with Meadowlands and pine forest restoration projects, and conducted litter sweeps. It’s like celebrating Earth Day twice a year.
T&M is an engineering firm that helps communities improve their quality of life by finding innovative solutions to infrastructure needs. So when it came time to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, it decided to deepen that legacy by volunteering for its partner communities. Thus, the 50 Ways of Giving campaign was born.
It’s a yearlong celebration that, as of May, had contributed 610 volunteer hours by 143 employees, many of whom participated in multiple events. The campaign assisted at a wide range of community service events, including blood drives, beach cleanups, and soup kitchens, and employees donated time to organizations such as the United Way and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
T&M has paid particular attention to opportunities to advance STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). More than 330 students participated in STEM promotional workshops, presentations, mentoring programs, training sessions and the Engineer for a Day program.
The topper is a $2,000 STEM scholarship to a high school student from each of the seven communities that were T&M’s original clients – Middletown, Sea Bright, Oceanport, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Holmdel and Eatontown. The awards will enable those students to pursue the next-level education in engineering and environmental science.
One out of every 41 children in New Jersey has autism, according to Autism New Jersey. Advocates such as Spectrum360 (formerly The Children’s Institute) work with autistic adults to provide them with the social and vocational skills that will allow them to live independent and fulfilling lives. However, all of the job coaching and social development programs available cannot substitute for real experience. That’s where UNEX comes in.
UNEX has partnered with Spectrum360 to provide on-the-job experience for individuals with autism. Adults with autism work at UNEX doing meaningful jobs in support of the vocational training they receive from the institute. The UNEX staff provides a welcoming environment and ensures that the clients have access to the resources they need.
The program has given practical experience to adults with autism, including two of them who have become regular part-time employees at UNEX. This summer, UNEX expanded its efforts, partnering with The New Road School and providing work for two high school students. The company’s enthusiasm is opening doors for people with disabilities to enter the workforce.
As a leading supermarket, Wegmans has a lot to offer the community when it comes to food, so its Food for Communities in Need program is a natural. Wegmans donated over 13.5-million pounds of food to local food banks last year alone. It also has the Check Out Hunger campaign, where cashiers ask customers to contribute funds or round up their total grocery bill, with the proceeds going to hunger relief. Since the program began in 1993, Wegmans has raised over $26 million.
Education, too, is a big part of the Wegmans’ philosophy. It starts with creating a foundation of eating well and living well for employees and customers. This foundational program has been able to educate and implement strategies towards creating healthier lifestyles.
The Love Your Veggies program was created in 2014 to promote healthy snack options within local school classrooms. In line with educating on nutrition, Wegmans worked to understand students by engaging them in conversations, asking questions and allowing them to be a part of an educational, fun-filled experience.
Finally, there is the annual United Way Campaign. Each Wegmans location holds a campaign every year at each of its stores for employees to donate to the United Way organization of their choice, raising $2.4 million last year.
As a manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaners, Earth Friendly Products (EFP) is already contributing to improving the environment. But the company has taken the concept one step further by making sure the way it manufactures its products is as environmentally sound as its household and commercial cleaners.
On the recycling front, EFP has reduced overall waste by 95 percent since 2010, even as it increased its business by 57 percent. The recycling program has slashed EFP’s monthly trash collection bill to one-sixth of what it was in 2009, even though the cost of collection has increased. What’s more, the company was able to recoup nearly $42,000 from selling its recyclable materials.
Similarly, EFP has eliminated more than 49 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution from its operation by purchasing “green” power. That’s the equivalent of removing 4,638 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.
This philosophy has been applied to the company’s HR operations, earning it an Outstanding Employer Award. EFP provides financial incentives to encourage employees to purchase eco-friendly cars, relocate to within 10 miles of work, and install solar panels on their houses. EFP even distributed juicers to all its employees to encourage healthy lifestyles as well as increasing maternity and paternity leave. The result has been good for the company as well as the employees; EFP saw an 18 percent reduction in its health insurance premium and a 29 percent reduction in absenteeism and lost time.