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SBJ honors 12 Choice Employers

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Last night, roughly 140 people attended Springfield Business Journal's sixth annual Choice Employers awards banquet, held at 425 Downtown, 425 W. Walnut St.

During the event, SBJ honored companies in four categories: 5 to 24 employees, 25 to 100 employees, 101 to 300 employees and 300+ employees. Companies were scored based on family friendliness, incentives, people development, corporate culture and civic accomplishment. Click here for the full survey scoresheet.

In the 300+ employees category, CoxHealth received the top honor, while Kraft Foods and Drury University finished second and third, respectively.

CoxHealth recorded the highest score among all companies in the 32-question survey verified by Evangel University's business department staff.

"In two weeks, we're going to celebrate Thanksgiving," said John Hursh, CoxHealth Vice President of Human Resources, in his acceptance speech. "It would be appropriate for us to give thanks for being employed by one of the 12 best employers in our community."

Commerce Bank received the top accolades in the 101 to 300 employees category, with The Track and College of the Ozarks finishing second and third, respectively.

In the 25 to 100 employees category, UMB Bank ranked No. 1, followed by Kirkpatrick, Phillips & Miller, CPAs PC and The Whitlock Co.

GHN Architects/Engineers took home the top honor in the 5 to 24 employees categories, while Pension Consultants Inc. and Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau ranked second and third, respectively.

With a number of honorees in the manufacturing, health care and higher education industries, master of ceremonies Brent McCoy shed light on the economic impact of such firms in the five-county Springfield metropolitan statistical area.

"Collectively, an estimated 727 manufacturing firms in the metro area spend more than $6.74 billion per year," said McCoy, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of membership. He added that operating and payroll expenditures by manufacturers trigger an estimated $11.95 billion in economic activity in the MSA and $2.59 billion in household income for the Springfield labor force.

"Private sector jobs in health care and higher education make up more than 15 percent of the region's economy," McCoy told the crowd. "Throw in the public sector jobs, primarily from Missouri State University, and the scale climbs to almost 20 percent."

For the full 2011 Choice Employers guide, including honoree profiles, the official scoresheet and a column from SBJ Features Editor Maria Hoover, click here.
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