Employees say the company’s commitment to health and safety and putting employees and neighbors first – is why Aera has been named a Central Coast Best Place to Work.
Jay Licata made the drastic decision in 2009 to trade in his suit and tie for a set of flame-retardant clothing, due to a downturn in the economy. His departure from the telecommunications industry 12 years ago, marked the start of what would become a long and rewarding career at Aera-Ventura, working for a company that puts the health and safety of employees and neighbors first — living up to its motto “every day, everybody goes home alive and well.”
“Aera truly carries out this motto and it never wavers from it,” said Licata, a longtime Ventura resident and process specialist for Aera-Ventura’s gas team. “This is the community where I’ve raised my kids, where they’ve played every day, where we go camping. To be part of making sure my family and my neighbors are safe and healthy in an environment that is clean and thriving, is what I appreciate the most about Aera. It’s a company of integrity.”
For employees like Licata, it came as no surprise when Aera was named a Central Coast Best Place to Work by the Pacific Coast Business Times for the second year in a row. The publication recognized Aera as one of the 50 top employers in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties at a virtual awards ceremony on June 24.
According to the publication, companies are ranked based on employer benefits, workplace amenities, and the ability to advance within the company, training opportunities or school stipends, diversity at the leadership level, outside-of-work interactions like company retreats or community service events. The ratio of received nominations to the number of employees. Is also taken into consideration. Licata said the best part was knowing employee ratings of the company helped Aera win the award and that his coworkers are as excited to work at Aera as he is.
Aera was also named a top employer of choice based on Glassdoor rating trends, with an overall rating of 4.3 on a scale of one to five, with 93 percent of respondents recommending Aera to a friend.
“What sets Aera apart is their exceptional care for people,” said Evan Scott, a process specialist at Aera-Ventura who started at Aera 14 years ago as a night-surveillance operator. “They really care about their employees and we as employees can really feel it.”
Scott said Aera has provided him with a successful career with a competitive salary even though he doesn’t have a college degree, offers incredible benefits and puts employees first. He appreciates the company’s emphasis on continuous improvement – where employees are challenged to think outside of the box and find new ways to problem solve.
Scott who previously worked in the construction industry, said he never worked for a company that is as focused on completing projects the safe way, especially if it takes longer to complete. Never has he felt his health and safety have been made a priority as much as it has at Aera.
“I always ask myself would I want to my son to work here? Would I feel safe having my family members work here? The answer is yes, absolutely,” Scott said.
Licata said Aera is a company that is set up to last into the future, where employees are incredibly passionate about their work.
“We believe so strongly in the product we provide here. We need to be sensitive to what people are saying and thinking, and it’s our responsibility to help them get to know what we do and how we do it, whenever possible. We will keep showing up for work and keep doing what we’re doing because what we do know is there will be a demand for the energy we produce for a long time to come,” Licata said.