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By W.B. King
SAN ANTONIO -- For the second consecutive year, Valero Energy Corp. was named the best big company to work for in America by Fortune magazine.
"Ever since its beginnings in 1980, Valero has recognized that employees are its number one asset," Valero spokesman, Bill Day, told CSNews Online. "The difference between Valero and other companies in our industry is that we recruit and hire the best people and then provide them with the resources to do their jobs well while compensating them well."
Valero, the largest oil refiner in North America, out-performed 33 companies including the four runners-up rounding out the top five -- Goldman Sachs Group, Microsoft Corp., FedEx Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. Fortune editors gave kudos to Valero's pledge to cover 100 percent of heath insurance premiums along with its policy to allow employees facing medical emergencies to use its corporate jet. All selected companies must submit required data to the Great Places to Work Institute, which compiles information for the magazine.
The 'Best Big Companies to Work For' is a mix of two other Fortune lists -- the 'Best Companies to Work For' and the 'Fortune 500,' which ranks companies based on size, explained Day.
"Valero was one of only 33 companies to appear on both lists. To the best of our knowledge, this particular list has only been around for two years, and Valero has been number one for both years," Day told CSNews Online, adding that Valero has appeared on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list in each of the past eight years it has been eligible.
Yesterday, in a memo to employees, CEO Bill Klesse noted, "Valero's number one rank on this list for two consecutive years is a true testament to your continued hard work, commitment and dedication to making our company a success and a great place to work. Thank you for all you do."
In total, the company has 17,488 U.S. employees. The most common salaried job is the store manager, explained Day, who said the position pays on average $33,435. The most common non-retail position, he added, is supervisor maintenance, which pays on average $87,488.
"We let our employees know that we're committed to providing a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding work environment, which fosters creative thinking, teamwork, open communication, respect and opportunity for individual professional growth and development," Day said.