Whole Foods is the best employer in the greater Austin area, according to new rankings by Comparably.
The company did a survey to find the best places to work in Austin, using data from anonymous employee ratings over a 12-month period starting March 22, 2020.
After asking questions in 20 categories, the site found big-name grocers like Whole Foods and H-E-B near the top of the list, as well as Austin tech brands like Dell.
Because surveys started in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the list is especially indicative of which employers have been best to work for during COVID.
Here's what they found:
1. Whole Foods
(Whole Foods Careers/Facebook)
With a workplace culture rating of 4.5 out of 5, health food grocer Whole Foods was ranked the best place to work in Austin. Factors like good pay, a high gender and diversity score and generally favorable reviews on CEO John Mackey helped bring Whole Foods to the top.
Realtor.com CEO David Doctorow helped give this national realty service the Best CEO award in 2020, and his favorable reviews are in the top 5% nationally. Plenty of employee perks help solidify the company's high standings.
(Careers at Dell/Facebook)
The Austin-based company was given the award for best global culture in 2021 as well as ranking third on this year's list. Dell was given 4 out of 5 stars on company culture, and its average pay is well over $200,000.
The nationwide job finder also has some of the best jobs in Austin itself. Indeed's culture ranks at 4.6 out of 5 stars, and their CEO Chris Hyams also ranks in the top 5% of all companies. Employees were most satisfied in the Operations and IT departments of Austin's Indeed branch.
A voice-to-text service provider, it's only fitting that Rev.com's employees, who work from home, would fare well in the pandemic. Ninety-six percent of its employees who left a review gave the company a thumbs up.
A company that helps bring social media services to small businesses, OutboundEngine recieved nearly 100% favorable reviews from employees. The company is among the best for women and ranks in the top 5% for women and diversity, and the company is said to "put a focus on interpersonal relationships."
7. A Cloud Guru
(A Cloud Guru/Facebook)
A Cloud Guru offers online cloud training to individuals and teams, so it's no surprise that the company's employees were easily able to transition into at-home life. Employees said they found the job to be exciting and interesting, and the company's outlook was among the best in Austin in 2020.
8. OJO Labs
Another end-to-end realty service, OJO Labs received an A+ on workplace culture. Its CEO, John Berkowitz, scored nearly 100% favorably, and employees enjoy the "transparency and openness to feedback" that the company's leadership has.
(Life at Google/Facebook)
Global search engine Google lands at No. 9 on Austin's best employers, and it's ranked among the best in other cities like Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Employees cite a high base pay and being able to work from anywhere as some major perks for the company.
Every Texan knows that H-E-B cares about its customers, but the San Antonio-based grocer has proven that it values its employees as well. The company received the Best Perks and Benefits Award in 2020, and the company got an A+ in workplace culture from its employees.
Republic Square Park has turned into a Ford-themed fiesta for its Built to Connect pop-up experience, complete with test drives, off-roading and an inside look at the Tesla-rivaling electric vehicles that the motor vehicle company is planning to integrate over the next decade.
The outdoor driving event is free, open to the public and will stay in the park from now until Oct. 24, offering rides on Bronco Mountain, a 0-40 mph zip in the 2022 all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and a chance to win an original Ford Bronco.
The event kicked off with a panel of speakers, including Austin Director of Transportation Rob Spillar, Ford General Manager Darren Palmer and engineering specialists discussing Ford's goals to make it so that 50% of the vehicles on the road are electric by 2030.
As an eco-conscious city, Spillar said that around 4,000 vehicles, or 22% of the Texas electric vehicle market, as well as over 15,000 plugins lie in Austin, meaning driving electric just got accessible.
"Austin, as you know, is a fast-growing modern city that is committed to protecting the long term health and viability of our communities and strategies that reduce greenhouse gases, mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the drone quality of life here in Central Texas for all of our residents," Spillar said.
And Ford's electric vehicles are putting up some steep competition for newly-Austin-based company Tesla. The new electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lighting offer amenities that used to be exclusive to Musk's brand, such as the BlueCruise self-driving network. The cars also boast a 300-mile range on a single charge, assisted reverse technology and access to the biggest charging network outside of the home.
Plus, Ford's got affordability on its side. The F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 and the Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,895, while the cheapest Tesla model, the Model 3, starts at $41,990 and averages 262 miles on a single charge.
Speaking of price, the numbers on the electric vehicles may look like a little more than you'd like to pay for your transport, but Palmer promises it will pay off. In addition to a $7,500 tax credit you can earn for your sustainability, you'll never have to buy a pricey tank of gas again.
"Personally, I have not found one customer ever, who would go back to gas so that says something," Palmer said. "I realized, at $51,000, that car outruns every childhood hero car I ever had."
Texas buyers: take note. The Ford Lightning can power your house for three to 10 days, just in case the statewide power grid fails. You can take it glamping with you, so you don't have to leave the comfort of modern life behind, and in a pinch, Palmer said he's even seen a wedding party powered by the truck.
Ford is investing $30 billion into the U.S. market to meet demand by 2025 and the new electric truck already has over 150,000 reservations.
"I think they're going to take off much faster than you expect—they're going to be extremely, extremely popular next year," Palmer said. "With the incentives that are available today, this is starting to become more mainstream and viable for more and more families. We couldn't have done that before, we didn't have the technology, or the technology at that price."
The event is ongoing through next weekend from 12-9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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The Austin Police Department is searching for a man who is believed to be behind a series of robberies that is "sexual in nature and is escalating."
Three robbery cases that took place in North Austin within a 30-day period are being investigated by police, who report the victims all had similar descriptions for suspects in the case. The suspect is described as a 20-25-year-old Spanish-speaking Hispanic man, approximately 5'3, thin build, recently shaved with black hair. Police say he is known to typically wear athletic clothing and used a knife on each of the victims.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police cautioned the public to walk without earbuds, stay alert and report suspicious activity to the police.
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