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Oakland Has Much to Be Proud of – Including Being Home to One of 50 'Best Nonprofits To Work For' in US

April 01, 2014

 Oakland, CA – In the last year alone, Oakland has been proclaimed the “Most Exciting City in America,” the fifth “Hippest City in the U.S.,” the “Greenest City in America,” the second “Best California City for Singles” and one of the “Top 10 Cities to Walk a Dog.”

And now, this other city by the Bay has one more feather in its cap: the Oakland-based Public Health Institute was named today as one of the 50 "Best Nonprofits To Work For" by The NonProfit Times. 

The award comes at the same time that PHI is celebrating its 50thanniversary year, and it has been a great place to work for over 6,000 employees in that half-century. Key to its longevity, its impact in public health and its top 50 nod have been the engagement and commitment of PHI employees in California, the U.S. and internationally.

 “This best nonprofit award honors us where it counts most:  our dedicated employees. They are our greatest asset,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. “We currently have over 700 staff working on projects around the world, and they are making a huge difference. We want them to be as satisfied with their workplace as they are in their work, so we have committed to providing pay, benefits and a work environment that are excellent. This award tells us that our employees feel a high level of engagement in our public health values and mission and are happy at their work.”

Other nonprofits that have ranked among The NonProfit Times’s top 50 include the Natural Resources Defense Council in Chicago, Livestrong, the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America, the American Heart Association and the Alzheimer’s Association.

PHI is one of the oldest and largest public health institutes in the nation. It is recognized as a leader in preventing obesity and chronic illness, research into environmental causes of breast cancer, promoting reproductive health and rights of girls in the Global South, public health advocacy and much more.  Learn more about PHI accomplishments over its 50-year history.

New positions at PHI are sought after—its employment pages on phi.org have been viewed over 280,000 times in the last year. And, once employees come, they like to stay:  18% of current PHI employees have been on the job more than 10 years. Satisfaction with their PHI career paths can be seen in all positions – PHI’s company counsel has the longest tenure of all PHI employees, at 33 years, and is followed by the executive assistant to PHI’s president who began her PHI career 32 years ago at age 17. Read the NonProfit Times interview with PHI senior director of human resources Valerie McCann Woodson that accompanied the top 50 announcement.

The company backs its commitment to employees with a strong benefits package, which includes a retirement plan contribution of 10% of each employee’s salary without requiring an employee match.  PHI maintained this valued benefit even during the nation’s recent economic challenges when many employers trimmed back on contributions.

PHI’s core values recognize that “health is a fundamental human right” and “just societies ensure equitable health outcomes for everyone.”

PHI has grown considerably over the years, starting with a nominal budget in 1964 to revenues today that exceed $100 million annually and about 200 programs and projects.

The NonProfit Times of Morris Plains, N.J., partnered with the Best Companies Group of Harrisburg, Pa., which ranked the nonprofits by collecting information from employers about their pay and benefits and then conducting a large random sample survey of employees, which contributed 75% to the overall ranking. Employees were asked about such topics as the nonprofit’s corporate culture and communication, role satisfaction, work environment, professional development, work-life balance and overall employee engagement.

The NonProfit Times, a nonprofit business management publication, bestows the Best 50 award to identify and honor the best nonprofit workplaces. This is the second time PHI has applied for the award, and the second time it has received recognition.  PHI joins three other Bay Area nonprofits recognized in 2014.