Duncan Aviation Named #77 On FORTUNE Magazine’s List of “100 Best Companies to Work For”
November 14, 2004
LINCOLN, NEB. — Duncan Aviation Inc., a comprehensive business aviation support organization with 1,754 employees at 40 locations nationwide who provide business aircraft services that include maintenance, modifications and completions, has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” by FORTUNE magazine for the fourth year in a row.
Duncan Aviation ranked #77 on this year’s list that appeared in the January 12, 2004, edition of FORTUNE magazine, and is the only business aviation company to make the list. This is Duncan Aviation’s fourth year on the prestigious list; the company ranked #25 last year. It is the sixth year FORTUNE has compiled the list with assistance from best-selling authors Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz. The magazine used methodology similar to that used for Levering and Moskowitz’s books, “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” This methodology is employee-driven, relying heavily on random employee surveys rather than company rhetoric and policy.
“The experience, professionalism and attitudes of our employees are what we pride ourselves on at Duncan Aviation,” says Aaron Hilkemann, President of Duncan Aviation. “These things are the main things that customers mention when they describe the atmosphere at our facilities. We are honored to be on the FORTUNE list again this year, especially considering the difficult economic situation business in general and business aviation in particular experienced in 2003. We made a decision at the start of the economic downturn to keep our work force intact. Instead of following the industry trend of reducing headcount, we chose to deal with the difficult economic situation by implementing a wage freeze. Our team members are in tune with the industry and realized that a pay freeze was the more desireable option. Additionally, this allowed everyone here to remain focused on serving our customers instead of being distracted by concerns of personal security.”
There are many things that helped Duncan Aviation make FORTUNE’s list, Hilkemann explains. But he believes the most important to be the respect that each team member has for each other, the career opportunities that result from great training and that Duncan Aviation is a fun place to work.
Following are some of the more innovative and unique programs Duncan Aviation provides for its employees:
- A unique work culture. All employees are highly valued and leaders are empowered and encouraged to make them feel so. The company hosts impromptu employee appreciation parties as well as employee/family parties, catered lunches, cookouts served by leaders, etc.
- Training and Education. Duncan Aviation strongly encourages all employees to focus on continuous learning. Duncan Aviation employees average 40 hours of training each year and the company invested over $2 million in training in 2003. Tuition is fully reimbursed for applicable college classes.
- Scholarships. Children of Duncan Aviation employees are eligible for $8,000 scholarships for post-secondary education at an accredited trade school, college or university. Duncan Aviation awards up to 10 scholarships every year.
- Private pilot license reimbursement. Duncan Aviation reimburses up to $2,500 for employees who earn their private pilot license and an additional $2,500 for those who earn their instrument rating. While pilot training is not necessary for most positions at Duncan Aviation, it helps employees relate to customers and increases their enjoyment in life.
- Wellness Programs. Duncan Aviation encourages employees to be healthy by rewarding them for involvement in activities and practices that contribute to an overall sense of wellness. In addition, the company’s Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan, locations have on-site exercise facilities and the company hired a dedicated Wellness Coordinator in 2002.
More than any other national survey of companies, the Fortune 100 Best is employee-driven. Two-thirds of the scoring is based on the answers employees give to questions on the Great Place to Work Index Trust, a survey created by the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco. The remaining third of the score reflects FORTUNE’s evaluation of the materials the companies presented to them, including answers to the Great Place to Work Culture Audit, in which it explains its philosophies, and includes supplementary materials like employee handbooks, newsletters and videos.
Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider with 1,754 employees supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. These services include airframe, engine, avionics installations, interior and paint completions/modifications, avionics/instrument and accessory/propeller repair/overhaul and parts support. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich. Additional locations include 21 satellite avionics facilities located throughout the United States, 20 government C-23 contract locations, a line service/regional support operation in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Duncan Aviation locations include the following:
- Ft. Richardson, Alaska (C-23)
- Scottsdale, Arizona (Avionics Satellite)
- Fresno, California (C-23)
- Van Nuys, California (Avionics Satellite)
- Broomfield, Colorado (Avionics Satellite)
- Denver, Colorado (Avionics Satellite)
- Bridgeport, Connecticut (Avionics Satellite)
- Groton, Connecticut (C-23)
- Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (Avionics Satellite)
- Brooksfield, Florida (C-23)
- Atlanta, Georgia (C-23)
- Chicago, Illinois (Avionics Satellite)
- Palwaukee, Illinois (Avionics Satellite)
- Indianapolis, Indiana (C-23)
- Frankfort, Kentucky (C-23)
- Battle Creek, Michigan (Complete business aircraft service center)
- Kalamazoo, Michigan (Regional support/turboprop service center)
- St. Paul, Minnesota (Satellite Avionics)
- Springfield, Missouri (C-23)
- Gulfport, Mississippi (C-23)
- Lincoln, Nebraska (Complete business aircraft service center, headquarters)
- Las Vegas, Nevada (Avionics Satellite)
- New Jersey
- Morristown, New Jersey (Avionics Satellite)
- Teterboro, New Jersey (Avionics Satellite)
- New York
- Long Island, New York (Avionics Satellite)
- White Plains, New York (Avionics Satellite)
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (C-23)
- Salem, Oregon (C-23)
- Annville, Pennsylvania (C-23)
- Rhode Island
- North Kingstown, Rhode Island (C-23)
- South Dakota
- Rapid City, South Dakota (C-23)
- Austin, Texas (C-23)
- Dallas, Texas (Avionics Satellite)
- Ft. Worth, Texas (Avionics Satellite)
- Houston, Texas (Avionics Satellite)
- Ft. Eustis, Virginia (C-23)
- Seattle, Washington (Avionics Satellite)
- Tacoma, Washington (C-23)
- West Virginia
- Bridgeport, West Virginia (C-23)
- Puerto Rico
- San Juan, Puerto Rico (C-23)
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