Top Workplaces - Page 14 - NO. 3 KCI Technologies Inc.

Top Workplaces
- Page 14
NO. 3 KCI Technologies Inc.

After just six months at KCI Technologies, eligible employees can join the ownership plan. The company is 100 percent employee-owned, and that’s no small thing — one retiring longtime staffer sold his stake back for $1 million.


The engineering firm has four main markets: transportation, water, utilities and site facilities. It is headquartered in Sparks in Baltimore County, with three other offices in the area, the combined staff making up about one-third of the company’s 1,500-person workforce.


KCI’s employee empowerment extends to the company’s board of directors; staff members elect one of the nine voting members. A transparency policy means workers can access financial, operational and strategic information.


And the firm continues to invest in training and workforce development to help employees grow their skills and potentially advance.


“We think that everybody should function as best as they can as top performers in their existing job,” said Nate Beil, KCI’s president and CEO. “We also have an obligation to prepare you for a promotion should you want it.”


Nick Barrick has benefited from that approach. He started at the company as an intern surveyor 15 years ago and is now a regional practice leader.


“KCI has allowed me to work my way up by providing the opportunities,” he said. “There are other firms where you’re really pigeonholed, only doing the stormwater management or grading. Here I’ve witnessed whole projects from start to finish, networking with other groups and managers, and becoming more well-rounded as an engineer.”