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Everyone who goes to work each day wants to believe that their employer is one of the best. But there are only so many companies that make the grade as the best companies to work for. And, there are many other great companies to work for that never surface on these lists.

Fortune magazine just released its list of Best Companies to Work For and, once again, there are only two locally based companies on it: Qualcomm and Scripps Health.

That hardly means there are only two companies that are really good employers in San Diego.

Many factors go into evaluating whether a company is a first-class employer. It starts with the company culture, extends through pay and benefits, work conditions, training and development, promotion opportunities and a receptiveness to listen to the needs of employees and respond to them.

Qualcomm has been a perennial on the Fortune Top 100. The company has long been cognizant of the value good employees can bring to an enterprise, and as a high-tech company it understands that it needs to keep a motivated work force to remain as a leader in its field.

Qualcomm offers some impressive benefits to its employees, such as paying 100 percent of their health care premiums. Even among the Top 100, only 15 companies can claim that.

The Sorrento Mesa company also has benefits such as job-sharing and telecommuting, an onsite fitness center, and subsidized gym memberships. It also makes sure that each of its hourly workers get 24 hours of training each year while salaried employees receive 30.

Scripps Health also has a long-running reputation as a great employer. The company has flexible work conditions and seems to understand how to treat its employees.

Scripps, which employs about 11,800 workers, also set aside $30 million last year to invest in employee training and development. That is one of the best perks any company can offer because it tells employees that the company believes in them and wants to help make them more valuable to the company and to themselves by learning new skills.

Many larger companies on the list have San Diego operations. Intuit, for instance, is on the list and has 1,100 employees in San Diego. Nordstrom &mdash another long-running member of the list &mdash employs 1,270 in the region.

Fortune’s list also includes Starbucks, Deloitte, Whole Foods, Aeropostale, and DPR Construction, all of which have San Diego operations.

The Container Store, which has several stores in the region, made Fortune’s list, and it was identified as one of the 15 companies on the Top 100 never to have had a layoff.

Don’t take this list as all-inclusive because it’s not. Lists like this always miss many other companies who could easily show up on the list.

San Diego probably has hundreds of companies that are doing the right thing and are appreciated by their employees, but they never surface in these lists.

The Fortune list, though, shouldn’t be about bragging rights. It should be educational. It shines a light on what some companies are doing right and gives every company that chance to adopt those policies as their own.

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