Old Boots & Poppy

Family Friendly

Prepared for the FNSB Family Friendly Workplace competition by a dear friend of Old Boots

This is the April, 2014 Family Friendly Workplace Winning Submittal

A little free advertising for PDC Inc, Engineers...

It has been published that PDC is the largest homegrown Engineering firm in Alaska. Between Fairbanks and Anchorage offices, I am one of approximately eighty-plus company employees. The success and growth of our company is no surprise when you consider the dedication of every employee to each of our clients and to one another.

I personally have worked with PDC for 30 years. I work alongside fellow employees that are leaders in their respective fields and regular contributors to the community and community activities. We have a great mix of young people and a well-seasoned older population that, due to the motivation of our people and management, bring energy and innovation to the engineering practice. We all work tirelessly to bring the best product possible to our clients, and to find the reward that comes from our hard work. The greater part of this diverse group of people has children and family that are regularly part of company activities and events. Events range from neighborhood cleanup; dedicated clean highway commitments; outside bar-b-q; soup club; wellness committee competitions, athletic events and cook-off’s; brown bag noontime gatherings; cookie competitions; parties; and much more.

I believe that the driving force behind our dedication, energy, and innovation is the mutual respect for one another and the companies’ respect for our employees and their families. We have an excellent insurance plan as well as a yearly bonus. In fact, in 2010, previous owners converted their interests in the company to establish an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Today, every qualifying full-time employee is an owner of shares in the organization, and all benefit from the establishment of an ESOP workplace.

The motivation to submit to the Family Friendly Workplace competition is my personal experience, but I know that I am not alone in benefiting from the compassion, understanding, and benefit that all our employees and their families find in working at PDC. Expectant mothers have taken extended maternity leave, knowing that they have a job waiting when they get back. We have all come together on several occasions to help other employees or to organize and/or participate in activities to benefit a child with diabetes, encourage a child with Autism, or to provide for other personal and health challenges. Often, one or more of our people have had to bring their children into work for the day. The company supports this, as well as an occasional visit from a family pet.

When my children were young, I always tried to provide them with lasting memories. During summers, longer weekends would make Alaska much more accessible and would allow for outdoor adventures. The company worked with me, even back then, to help me work my full-time commitment while providing us a summer full of three- and four-day weekends. During personal hardships, there were always members of management and several employees that would make every effort to console and brighten up the days.

In recent history, I had visited a doctor about some health issues I was having, only to find myself medevac’d to an Anchorage hospital for a quadruple heart bypass. I had just previously used all my vacation benefit on a Christmas trip to my father-in-law’s and had nothing to fall back upon. My wife and I were facing great changes in our life, as we knew it. We could be looking at losing the house and possibly more. Before I even went under the knife, my wife received a text message with an image of several people and a little mascot (dog) named Bailey (also a PDC family member). The people in the image all wore armbands dedicated to me and provided me with news that they and others in the company had donated almost 400 of their own vacation hours, with more to come as needed. When I was finally lucid, I was overcome with gratitude at the news of what they had done. Facing the consequences of being unable to work, my life, and that of my wife were able to continue with my recovery without the haunting reality that could have been. The procedure went well, but there were complications that kept me in the hospital for nearly a month. Additionally, the recovery period from open-heart surgery is extensive and would keep me out of work for a month or more. While in the hospital, people from our Fairbanks office as well as our Anchorage office were in constant contact with my wife, getting updates on my condition. I was visited on several occasions by people from both offices. Several would spend much time with my wife and I, providing companionship, conversation, and funny stories that were greatly appreciated.

So, this is my company, and these are the wonderful people who are like family. Personally, my family has enjoyed a life of benefit and sustainability due to the workplace that I have been a part of for the past 30 years. PDC is an organization that puts the entire family first and has continued to help mine make good memories for decades. In closing, PDC engineering is a model business that exemplifies a family friendly workplace. I count my blessings every day for that.

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