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Wolfpack at Work

NC State Among the Top 10 Employers in North Carolina

Forbes surveys 80,000 workers across the nation to find the best employers in every state. NC State takes its place alongside corporate giants Microsoft, Apple and Fedex.

Looking up at the tower over Talley Student Union with a blue sky in the background.

NC State is a great place to work, according to a survey conducted by Forbes and the market research company Statista. The annual survey of America’s best employers by state places NC State in ninth place in North Carolina, well ahead of its rival institutions in the Triangle. Duke University is ranked 26th and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill comes in at 53rd.

The list is based on anonymous surveys of 80,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 500 employees.

Respondents were asked to rate their employers on a variety of criteria, including workplace safety, compensation, opportunities for advancement and options for telecommuting. Statista also asked respondents how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. The surveys were conducted between October 2019 and May 2020.

Topping the North Carolina list is SAS Institute, co-founded by NC State alumnus and one-time faculty member Jim Goodnight in 1976. Also scoring in the top 10 in the state are Microsoft, Fedex, Hilton and Cisco Systems. Corporate giants in the top 25 include Apple, Daimler and PepsiCo. Other UNC System institutions on the list include the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, at 69th place, and Western Carolina University, 66th. UNC Health Care is ranked 20th.

Of employers actually headquartered in North Carolina, NC State ranks third, behind SAS and Duke University Health System. NC State is the only university in the top 25 in the state.

Campuswide Effort

The survey results are welcome news for Marie Williams, associate vice chancellor for human resources.

“This is absolutely outstanding news, and it positively reflects the intentional efforts of our campus leadership, faculty and staff to promote NC State as an employer of choice within the state of North Carolina,” she said. “We are delighted to be recognized among such an esteemed group of employers.”

Since joining NC State four years ago, Williams has spearheaded efforts to transform University Human Resources by improving processes, leveraging technology and redesigning the service delivery model.

But she emphasized that the work of building a strong workplace culture involves a campuswide commitment.

Williams lauded efforts by a campus coalition to successfully advocate for a new paid parental leave policy across the UNC System. That policy was approved by the UNC Board of Governors last year and took effect in January. The coalition included representatives of the Council on the Status of Women, Staff Senate, student government, the Pathways Leadership Program, University Human Resources and others.

The Forbes survey results are consistent with a survey of faculty and staff conducted by the UNC System in 2018, which found that 83% of NC State employees are proud to be part of the university.

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