SEL Named One of the Nation’s Largest Employee-owned Companies


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Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) is the 22nd largest employee-owned company in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). This week, the NCEO released its 2022 Employee Ownership 100, a list of the nation’s largest companies that are at least 50 percent employee-owned.

SEL has steadily moved up the NCEO’s annual list, rising 27 spots since 2011. The ranking is based on the number of full- and part-time employees in the U.S. and worldwide. The list also highlights companies that are 100 percent employee-owned. SEL ranks 17th in this category.

SEL first transitioned to employee ownership through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1994 and became 100 percent employee-owned in 2009 as part of the company’s long-term strategy for sustained growth, stability and customer focus.

“Employee ownership has become part of SEL’s DNA and has been key to our success,” said Chief Business and Financial Officer Joey Nestegard. “It creates an environment where employees own, run and grow the company and have a personal stake in the outcome. This is a business model that results in long-term employment, high levels of employee engagement and exceptional relationships with customers. It’s not one driven by quarterly earnings or other short-term concerns.”

According to NCEO research, employees at ESOP companies have an average of $67,000 more in retirement savings than employees in non-ESOP companies, and ESOP companies are associated with 33% higher median income from wages and 53% longer median job tenure.

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