Pennsylvania’s Best Places to Work: Analytical Graphics Inc., Commitment: The final frontier
If viewers tuned into CNN for coverage of the Columbia space shuttle crash in February 2003, they probably saw a computerized explanation of what happened. The software that made the presentation possible came from Analytical Graphics Inc., in Malvern, Chester County, said Paul Welsh,. the company7s vice president of business development. Later, NASA used AGI’s software to investigate the accident. The software was available because of AGI’s 128 employees.
“The most important thing is the phenomenal set of people here,” President Paul Graziani said. “I want to come to work every day and be with these people. They are incredibly bright and hard-working, and that adds up to a fine place to be.”
AGI sells products that analyze what altitude unmanned space vehicles must be to perform particular missions, and some of its software calculates what orbit a satellite must take to perform its mission.
“We’re revolutionizing the aerospace industry and enhancing national security,”
Welsh said. “And we care about our people as much as their results. It’s an implicit contract with employees to do a good job. They are energetic and creative, and what the company provides them keeps them happy and engaged.”
AGI’s staff understands that contract and gets the work done. As long as they know what to do and when to do it, they are on a long tether.
“We don’t care when people come and go here,” Graziani said. They can go to the dentist, get winter tires, pick up their kids when school closes early and bring them to work. “There are always kids around here,” he said.
The company brings in catered meals and snacks every day. Graziani is fond of the slogan “All food, all the time.” He even encourages employees to bring their visiting parents in for dinner.
“Some people say we serve dinner to get people to stay late,” Graziani said. “But we serve dinner because they do stay late.”
To work off dinner, the company provides a gym that is open 24 hours a day. Onsite washers and dryers take care of laundry, easing at-home or Laundromat tasks. A local sorority wraps holiday gifts in return for a company donation to a chosen charity. Employees are paid for getting a massage at work.
“We don’t think of ‘our time’ or ‘your time,'” Graziani said. “We just make it as easy and comfortable as we can for our employees to be here.”
Copyright Journal Publications Inc. Jan 30, 2004
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