February 5, 2016 – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories President Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, offered perspectives on employee ownership during a panel discussion on retirement security at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that took place in Washington, D.C. last week.
Schweitzer shared how employee ownership has benefitted both SEL and its employees.
Schweitzer expressed his firm belief that the best way to predict the future is to invent it and shared how SEL transitioned to being 100 percent employee owned for the company's long term success and financial security of its employees.
“SEL's organic growth over the years has led us to where we are today,” said Schweitzer. “We have more than 4,000 employees in 109 offices around the globe.”
He highlighted the risks, rights, responsibilities and rewards of being an employee owner and how these principles guide SEL.
“Being employee-owned lets us put our customers and employees first,” he said. “Because our employees are our shareholders, there’s no short-term pressure to achieve quarterly results at the expense of what’s best for our customers or the company in the long run.”
In addition to its Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), SEL also offers a 401(k) plan.
Schweitzer shared stories from current and former employee owners about what the ESOP means to them, from retiring earlier to amassing more retirement savings in a shorter amount of time.
Schweitzer also stressed the importance of encouraging employees to consider personal ways of saving. “At SEL we educate about the value of saving and being thrifty throughout your life,” said Schweitzer. "Our employees don't rent their jobs; they OWN them!”
In addition to Schweitzer, the panel featured a number of speakers addressing topics including auto enrollment issues, retirement literacy and small business retirement issues.