Best Place to Work in Benson

AzGT wins the category in the first-ever Best of Benson by Herald/Review Media

Even with many employees working from home during the pandemic, Arizona Generation and Transmission Cooperatives (AzGT) showed that it can still bring its workforce together and motivate its employees to action when it won “Best Place to Work” in the Best of Benson. The contest, hosted by Herald/Review Media, was the first of its kind in Benson, Willcox and Douglas, since the paper absorbed the San Pedro Valley News-Sun, Arizona Range News and Douglas Dispatch to become a Cochise County paper. This was the sixth year for the contest in Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Tombstone.

“I voted the best place to work because of the support I get from all of the departments in the company,” explained Chad Kew, instrument working foreman. “The people of the co-op are the best at what they do.”

AzGT was nominated from the community for the Best Place to Work category. Nominations were in late June and early July, and the contest ran from mid-July until the first of August. During the contest, people could vote once per day per category for every day of the contest.

AzGT won the “Best Place to Work” category in the first-ever Best of Benson contest held by Herald/Review Media.

“I love that it is a family feeling here; all the employees I come into contact with are great people and they make it nice to come to work every day,” explained Shannon Garner, HR generalist I. “Here at the co-op everyone is willing to help each other out.”

“In a word – values,” Gerard Rodriguez, business information manager, explained his vote for AzGT. “Underneath the Seven Cooperative Principles, from which we operate, are values which reach back beyond the foundations of our nation. They motived people then in an effort to preserve them, and they continue to motivate people today. The values of personal responsibility, accountability, and the rule of law come first to my mind. When shaped properly, these serve not only those who exhibit them but are the fruits of life to those on the receiving end.”

Benson Hospital and CTI Trucking were also nominated for Best Place to Work. At a virtual ceremony on September 23, the results were announced: AzGT won first place, followed by Benson Hospital second and CTI Trucking third. While AzGT won against some worthy competition, Chad Kew says working at AzGT has been far better than some of his previous employers.

“I have worked in other industries where you are just a number and what you have to offer no one would even consider,” he explained. “Here, there is a completely different approach. Each person cares about safety, reliability, service, and cost savings to our Members.”

“As I work with the many functional areas within our cooperative, I see these values exhibited by all,” Rodriguez explained in relation to the values he mentioned earlier. “Many see the challenges of today, those in the work place and those in the world, as though they are unique in our post-modern era. They are not. At the root of the challenges of today resides a battle of values. We must therefore look to our values, and not to the chaos surrounding us, to retain the vision and insight of our forefathers. Only then can we navigate the challenges we face today and those surely to come tomorrow.”

For many employees, those challenges can be viewed a bit more easily because of what the workplace at AzGT offers. From satisfying work to living and working in the same community, employees explain that they have a variety of reasons to be thankful for AzGT.

“I also like that I work close to home and don’t have to worry about being far out of town if my kids need something,” Garner explained.

“The support I get here is amazing, from top to bottom,” Kew said. “Job well done, I get to go home every night with a satisfaction that I am doing my part of the cooperative spirit.”