Employee-Owned Infrastructure Firm Credits Success to S ESOP Structure
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) HNTB Corporation received six prestigious project awards at this year’s American Council of Engineering Companies annual conference. The firm—specializing in civil engineering, architecture, planning, construction management and program management services—credits the wins largely to being an employee-owned private company, or a so-called “S corporation employee stock ownership plan” (S ESOP), which motivates a commitment to success.
Among the projects spotlighted by the “Academy Awards of the Engineering Industry” is HNTB’s Ambassador Bridge Gateway Project, which received an Honor Award. The project provides direct access between freeways and the Ambassador Bridge, supporting more than $1 billion in trade annually, including about 23 percent of all commercial trade between the United States and Canada.
“Each award for HNTB is a reflection on every one of our employee owners who have a personal, vested interest in our shared success,” said Ken Graham, PE, CEO of HNTB Infrastructure. “Their effort and ingenuity has built this company for nearly 100 years. It will not only sustain them into retirement, but also open doors for future generations.”
S ESOP companies like HNTB, according to a University of Pennsylvania study, create not only employee motivation and success, but also $14 billion in new savings for workers that they otherwise would not have. This is because profits of the company flow into the ESOP (retirement) accounts of the workers. Moreover, most S ESOP employees have retirement account balances three to five times higher than the average 401 (k) or other defined contribution plans. This helps to explain why HNTB employees are so successful, as compared with most working Americans who—an April 2011 Gallup poll found—think they will lack enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
HNTB was also presented with five National Recognition Awards for its work on the Bradley International Airport Terminal Project in Connecticut; kcICON consulting in Missouri; the Route 42 and College Drive Interchange in New Jersey; the Alfred Cunningham Bascule Bridge in North Carolina and the SEPTA Lansdale Line Bridge Replacement in Pennsylvania.
“HNTB is to be congratulated for this landmark achievement,” said Greg Klein, chairman of the board of directors of the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America. “The HNTB team is proof that employee-owners work smarter and harder because of their commitment and investment in the business, and this makes our workers and our economy stronger.”
The Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (“ESCA”) is the Washington, DC voice for employee-owned S corporations. ESCA’s exclusive mission is to preserve and protect S corporation ESOPs and the benefits they provide to the employees who own them. These companies have an important story to tell policymakers about the tremendous success of the S ESOP structure in generating long-term retirement savings for working Americans and their families. ESCA provides the vehicle and the voice for these efforts. ESCA represents employee-owners in every state in the nation.