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Lee County Electric Cooperative

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2004
Industry: Utilities

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies: Lee County Electric Cooperative listens to employee feedback in order to maintain a positive workplace. The company uses fun and interesting learning opportunities, such as trips to Sea World, to teach important business and team-building concepts. LCEC also provides opportunities for employees to learn about aging parents and other condition-specific support groups.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: LCEC offers internal and online training for its full- and part-time employees who work at least 20 hours per week. Full-time employees working at least 40 hours per week are also eligible for tuition reimbursement and certification classes. Over the past 12 months, 100 percent of employees took part in at least one development opportunity, so each LCEC employee spent an average 45 hours in training. 

LCEC celebrates employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements and an invitation to the monthly breakfast with the CEO. When employees celebrate milestone anniversaries, LCEC recognizes them with specific gifts based on their time with the company. 

LCEC also assists its employees professional career development through opportunities to work on team projects, to take on temporary assignments in other departments, and to participate in a formal job-rotation and apprenticeship program. 

Benefits/Health: LCEC offers its full-time employees working 40 hours per week individual and family medical and prescription-drug coverage, individual long-term disability, vision, and dental insurance. Employees can also choose health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help with the out-of-pocket health-care costs. Retirees under and above age 65 hired prior to 1994 are eligible for individual and spousal medical, prescription–drug, and vision coverage.

Benefits/Financial: LCEC offers its full-time employees working at least 40 hours per week a defined-benefit pension plan and an employer-matched, 401(k) defined-contribution plan. Employees can choose to invest in life-cycle funds, and those age 50+ can make catch-up contributions. Members of the in-house staff, representatives of the financial-services firm that administers the plan, and external financial-planning experts provide financial-planning information to employees .

To accommodate employees who have caregiving responsibilities, LCEC offers unpaid short- and long-term leave. 

LCEC offers its full- and part-time employees the following wellness benefits: flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, discounts at local health clubs, exercise and weight-loss programs, and stress-management training. In 2008, 76 percent of LCEC employees took advantage of at least one of its wellness benefits.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: The following alternative work arrangements are offered to all full-time staff working at least 40 hours per week: flextime, job-sharing, and telecommuting. Part-time employees working a minimum of 20 hours per week are also eligible for flextime. Full-time employees may switch to part-time work on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Opportunities for Retirees: LCEC's 130 retirees benefit from the service of an employee who is directly responsible for retiree relations. Retiree relations are maintained through regular communication in the form of a monthly newsletter, invitations to organizational events, acknowledging retirees on the anniversaries of their retirement, and through ongoing access to retirement-planning workshops and information. Retirees can also take advantage of temporary assignments, contract work, and full- and part-time positions.

Age of Workforce: Forty-eight percent of Lee County Electric Cooperative employees are age 50+, with an average tenure of 15.2 years.


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