Monday, April 10, 2017

Businesses with local ties make top 100 list, again

Businesses with local ties make top 100 list, again

By Melissa Murphy, The Reporter, Vacaville

Posted: 04/08/17, 5:34 PM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

It wasn’t a surprise, but it’s still a moment of pride.

For nearly two decades, Genentech Inc. has held its spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2017.

The biotech giant, with 14,815 employees and headquarters in San Francisco, ranked No. 6, up from No. 11 in 2016. It also has a manufacturing facility in Vacaville.

Meanwhile, Nugget Market returned to the list for a 12th year and ranked No. 30, down from its No. 13 rank in 2016. The family-owned grocery chain out of Woodland has 1,818 employees. It too has a store in Vacaville.

It speaks to the culture in Vacaville, said Sandy Person, president of Solano Economic Development Corporation.

“We’re all fortunate to have these great companies with an emphasis on their employees,” Person said. “It’s great to have those employers that see the big picture, that seek that qualified workforce.”

She explained that having quality employers primes the area to attract more.

“They desire to be a part of that culture and community pride,” she said. “It’s great, we love it. Keep it coming.”

Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine said it’s not unexpected to see the businesses make the list once again.

Genentech, the oldest and second largest biotechnology company in the world, has a location right here in Vacaville, we’re proud of that fact, he said.

Genentech representatives explained that at the Vacaville facility, employees produce medicines for serious and life-threatening diseases such as cancer. The team in Vacaville works closely with Genentech’s South San Francisco headquarters and other sites worldwide to execute the complex manufacturing process that is critical to bringing breakthrough medicines to patients.

Genentech said it looked at almost 50 sites in several states as well as Europe before selecting Vacaville. Key factors in the decision to expand to Vacaville were proximity to a talented local workforce and the support of local government leaders in creating an environment where biotechnology manufacturing could thrive.

“Our excellent working relationship with the city of Vacaville and Solano County continues to this day and we greatly appreciate this partnership,” said Amanda Fallon, senior manager of corporate relations for Genentech Inc.

Augustine agreed.

“It’s one of those win stories for Vacaville,” he said. “To have such a prestigious company here is an amazing story for the city of Vacaville.”

Augustine added that Genentech’s employees are proud to work for them and are also participants in the community.

He referenced their continued participation in Solano Transportation Authority’s bike to work day, where employees continue to make Genentech No.1 when it comes to the friendly competition among businesses in the county.

“They make us proud,” he said.

Besides monetary donations, Genentech said its employees are proud to be members of the communities where they live and work.

“We believe that forging deep partnerships is the best way to help local schools, nonprofits and businesses thrive,” Fallon said. “We’re pleased to support STEM education initiatives with both local schools and The Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Clubs through charitable giving and employee volunteerism. We also host an annual ‘Job Shadow Day’ for local high school juniors to learn about career opportunities at Genentech.”

Genentech said it has more than 1,000 employees at the Vacaville location and more than half of them live in Vacaville or Solano County.

“Attracting and retaining the best and brightest people is critical to our mission of bringing breakthrough medicines to people facing serious diseases,” the biotech giant said. “That’s why we are committed to creating an environment where every person feels valued, included, and able to contribute their best for the patients we serve.”

While it’s not necessarily a goal for Genentech to be included in the top 100 list each year, it’s proud of the recognition.

“Genentech’s longevity on this list is testament to our employees, their passion for their work, and their strong sense of commitment to our company’s culture and purpose,” Fallon said.

Caught on the phone while munching on some bread, Augustine acknowledged that the purchase was made at The Nugget Market in Vacaville.

“It’s top notch,” he said. “It’s a quality company and a quality store.”

Now in its 90th year, according to its website, Nugget Markets has built a strong reputation for extraordinary quality and service, both within the community and its own walls. In one of the anonymous surveys that went into this year’s ranking, an associate likened Nugget Markets to “the Disneyland of grocery stores,” where managers feel like “just another friend at work.”

“Our associates make all the difference,” said CEO and President, Eric Stille, in a press release. “At Nugget Markets, it’s not just a job. Our environment is like a family that has fun, and we all come together to create something very special.”

“It’s not unexpected to hear they’re on the list again,” Augustine said of both Genentech and Nugget. “We have a great working relationship with both of them.

“Together they contribute to the quality of life in Vacaville,” Augustine continued. “It’s adds to the value of Vacaville. We wish them great success.”

For a 360 degree, behind-the-scenes tour of Genentech’s Vacaville facility, visit

More information about Nugget Markets is available online at

For the full list of top companies and their perks, visit

Fact Box:

Genentech Inc. Perks:

• Unlimited Sick Days.

• Onsite Fitness Center/Discounted gym memberships

• Telecommuting.

• Fully-paid sabbaticals.

• Onsite Childcare.

• College tuition reimbursement.

Nugget Market Perks:

• 100 percent health coverage.

• Sick days for part-timers.

• Health insurance for part-timers.