Local ACS branch named among top workplaces

The American Cancer Society Eastern Division, whose main branch is located in Loudonville, has been named one of the best companies to work for in New York in a competition sponsored by several business groups that used employee surveys to rank companies across the state.

The initiative, inspired by Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work for in America list, is sponsored by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management, the Business Council of New York and Best Companies Group, a national consulting firm.

The Loudonville branch will be honored at an awards presentation and gala dinner on Thursday, April 23, at the Marriot Hotel in Albany. This is its second nomination, having ranked third in the large company category in 2007.

"People are very proud of this. This has become something that we strive for, something we wait to see if we get," said Maria Guyette, senior vice president of human resources at ACS.

As the leading contributor to cancer research outside of the federal government, ACS is a nonprofit organization well known for its signature programs and community outreach events.

Guyette said that although ACS maintains a vast network of volunteers, many of whom are cancer survivors, it employs only a small staff.

"If people know about us, they know about us as an organization that does research; they don't think about us as an employer," she said.

She said ACS chose to participate in the survey for several reasons.

Foremost, Guyette said, was the survey's value as an evaluation tool to receive staff feedback, which helps the organization address areas that are in need of improvement.

According to the initiative's Web site, bestcompaniesny.com, award recipients are selected based on an assessment of anonymous employee surveys. Employees are randomly selected to complete a brief online survey that addresses topics such as overall satisfaction and engagement, personal relationship with management, and pay and benefits.

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