Ecology Project International (EPI), a Missoula-based conservation education nonprofit, has been selected for the third year in a row as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2014. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious, and prioritize giving back to the community. This year, EPI successfully jumped 11 spots in the list from last year, coming in at #24.
EPI Executive Director Scott Pankratz said, “We work hard to create a world-class work environment. We attract top-notch employees, and their satisfaction results in extraordinary organizational performance. It’s a win-win and an honor to be recognized by Outside Magazine.” In the last year, EPI hired nine Missoulians and anticipates continued growth in the next year.
EPI believes people learn best by doing. They develop place-based, ecological education partnerships between local experts and high school students to address critical conservation issues in six different countries. The course closest to home, The Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology Program, invites local students from Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, as well as visiting students from anywhere in the world, to experience the power of conservation in the world’s first national park. Students walk among bison and elk and track wildlife across ancient volcanic plateaus, gaining a strong understanding of the complex conservation issues facing the region.
To find the best places to work in the United States, OUTSIDE conducted a rigorous eight-month vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies. They went straight to the employees to hear about factors like corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment and overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work list represents the cream of the crop: companies who cultivate a comfortable and collaborative workplace, enable their employees to enjoy the great outdoors and take pride in their roles in the community and the environment.
“If you’re considering a career change or searching for your dream job, OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work list is the first place to look,” said OUTSIDE Executive Editor Michael Roberts. “These companies set the standard for workplaces that really value their employees and offer an experience that’s fulfilling inside and outside the office.”
The complete list of Best Places to Work winners is featured online at www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs.
Ecology Project International is a conservation education non-profit like no other. They involve young people from the U.S. and Latin America in hands-on science and conservation projects that protect species and habitat in six countries. Over 15,000 students have participated in their field programs since 2000, with over 60% of those participants being underserved local youth living in communities adjacent to the project site. Their impact is profound on both local and visiting students, establishing a lifelong commitment to conservation and empowering the next generation of conservation leaders.
About OUTSIDE: OUTSIDE is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, OUTSIDE has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The OUTSIDE family includes OUTSIDE magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, Outside Books, and now Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company. Visit us online and on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.
ABOUT THE BEST COMPANIES GROUP: Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and internationally to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, regional and industry basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.