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Good news, Triangle millennials: Some of Fortune’s ‘Best Workplaces’ are here

The exterior of the “Q” Building on the SAS campus in Cary.
The exterior of the “Q” Building on the SAS campus in Cary. cseward@newsobserver.com

Triangle millennials looking for a great job might find one without having to go anywhere.

Fortune.com has released its latest list of the country's 100 best workplaces for millennials, and it features three companies headquartered in the Triangle.

Cary-based SAS Institute came in at No. 2 and Raleigh-based Kimley-Horn at No. 8. Both have been named a top place to work in multiple lists in recent years. SAS was crowned Fortune’s top place to work in 2010 and 2011.

For the study, the “millennial” title was assigned to people born between the early ’80s and late ’90s – a group that consists of more than 75 million Americans.

The report says that SAS employs 1,223 millennials, who make up 17 percent of the IT company’s total workforce at 45 locations.

Fortune anonymously quoted a 23-year-old employee who said, “I am able to soak up knowledge from individuals who have worked at SAS for many years. Not a lot of companies can offer that type of intangible asset to recent graduates looking to jumpstart their career.”

The report says that the 1,389 millennials on staff at Kimley-Horn make up 54 percent of the workforce at the professional services company.

An employee told Fortune that the millennial label sometimes has a negative connotation, “but at Kimley-Horn, millennials are treated as important assets with valuable perspectives.”

Concord Hospitality Enterprises in Raleigh also made the list, at No. 81. Millennials make up 42 percent of its 1,479-member workforce at 84 sites. The group was also featured in best-workplace lists for millennials and women last year.

Others on the Fortune list have operations in the Triangle, including tech companies Salesforce (No. 4) and Cisco (No. 66), and retailers Publix (No. 17) and Arby’s (No. 58).

The Charlotte area has one organization on the list, and it was a church. The report said millennials make up 80 percent of the staff at Elevation Church, which has 11 locations.

This list is one of many produced in a partnership between Fortune and Great Place to Work Institute, which conducts surveys for the lists. To name the top 100 workplaces for millennials, the institute surveyed more than 398,000 U.S. companies.

The ranking considered how millennials rate company workplace conditions, how the millennials’ surveys compare to those coworkers of other ages, and overall company diversity.

Researchers found that millennials take stronger interest in employers who treat them as human beings instead of just employees, and are more prone to do better work in such environments.

That contributed to Ultimate Software being named No. 1 on this year’s list. Fortune said the Weston, Fla.-based IT group flies new hires in for a two-day orientation and a chance to meet the CEO.

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