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Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Company: ZPower, LLC, Camarillo, CA USA
Category:; ;Employer of the Year - Manufacturing

Nomination Title: ZPower Battery


ZPower Battery, founded in 1996, opened in Camarillo, California with the intention of
creating and commercializing rechargeable silver-zinc batteries to use in small battery devices. It remains the world’s only developer of this product.. The president and CEO, Ross Dueber, makes himself readily available to get to know and engage with employees and often encourages everyone to take care of their families, health, and ZPower (in that order!). Employees contribute to positive company energy; everyone is friendly, “charged”, and excited while at work. ZPower attracts a skilled and connected work force. Employees put love and care into each product: manufacturing done right the first time. Numerous company events keep employees’ spirits high.

Whether a Hula Hoop Contest, Halloween cubicle trick-or-treating, or an on-site game of ping pong, employees always have their fill of fun. To support wellness, the company entered a team in the 2017 Heart Walk sponsored by the American Heart Association and hosted its first annual Health Fair in May of 2018. In addition, ZPower offered a virtual Health Fair option geared towards remote and off-shift employees to ensure full inclusion. On-site showers allow employees to engage in physical activity during the hour-long lunch break, and a nearby gym offers discounts to ZPower employees. Employees also played in the Ventura County Arena soccer league for seven weeks. With regards to employee health benefits, ZPower offers Medical, Dental, and Vision care as well as a 401 (k) plan, long-term disability, life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

All ZPower products are manufactured at the facility in Camarillo, creating numerous jobs for Ventura County. The Battery Bowl, an annual undergraduate engineering competition hosted by ZPower, boasts a prize of $25,000. Additionally, a blossoming internship program supports learning opportunities, allowing collegiate students to gain marketable work experience and a perspective of the working world. ZPower implements formal training for supervisors to effectively mentor interns. Upon arrival, the department treats the intern to lunch the first day to welcome him or her and to allow him or her to become familiar with the team. The internship experience closes with the intern presenting the final project to the company upon completion. In addition to on-the-job training and fundamentals of leadership training, ZPower emphasizes Kaizen Training, which is a way to inform business leaders on practices to improve efficiency. Focusing on innovation, the company awards a cash bonus to employees who file a qualifying patent application.

The employee receives additional money if the patent is granted to ZPower. In February of 2018, the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce announced the Annual Top Ten Community Awards. ZPower recieved Business of the Year.

Employees take tremendous pride in working for a company that manufactures a product that improves the lives of others as well as the environment. Silver-zinc batteries are non-toxic non-flammable, fully recyclable, and contain enough power to meet the energy requirements of highly sophisticated devices. These batteries are used mainly in hearing aids and expanding to other products. The company uses ADP online to support the green initiative, offering online paystubs and health benefit enrollments available in electronic form. More importantly, two ZPower silver-zinc rechargeable batteries can keep up to 200 similarly sized disposable batteries from reaching landfills.

The company has grown at an astonishing rate recently, from 96 employees in the beginning of 2017 to 370 employees currently. In 2018 alone, the total count grew from 268 to 370 in five short months, with a monthly turnover rate of 0.03%. The overall turnover rate in 2016 was 13% while 2017’s was 4%. In the beginning of March 2018, ZPower held an Interview Day, where approximately 80 people showed up to participate in on-the-spot interviews to get connected to ZPower job opportunities.

All around, ZPower is a unique company offering a one-of-a-kind product and superior employees.

Employer of the Year Summary:

1. Grew from 96 employees in 2017 to 370 by June of 2018
2. In 2018, total employees grew from 268 to 370 in five months; monthly turnover rate of 0.03%.
3. Annual summer internships allow students opportunity to gain work experience and present project to company at conclusion of internship
4. Turnover rate was 13% in 2016 and 4% in 2017
5. 80 people appeared at Interview Day to help with recruitment
6. Named Business of the Year by Camarillo Chamber of Commerce
7. Company events include family trick-or-treating, free In-N-Out Burgers for a day, and an annual Health Fair
8. Offers Medical, Dental, and Vision Care for individuals and family
9. On-site showers available after lunch-time exercise, annual health fair, and a team in the Heart Walk sponsored by the American Heart Association
10. Bonuses given to employees for valid patent application

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