For the eighth straight year,The NEWSasked the industry to point out contractors that are great to work for. We asked for the names of owners who, among other things, provide a secure, friendly, and challenging work environment for employees. In the end, you responded with a boatload of possibilities. Yes, a boatload.

The NEWS’editorial staff laboriously combed through the hundreds of nominations, systematically checking off specific, needed characteristics and requirements. Though it was difficult, the cream did rise to the top.

Voted winners inThe NEWS’2006 “Best Contractor to Work for” contest and called upon the red carpet are:

WEST REGIONAL- Greiner Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., Dixon, Calif.;NORTH CENTRAL REGIONAL- McAfee Heating & Air Conditioning, Kettering, Ohio;SOUTH REGIONAL- Weeks Service Co., League City, Texas;EAST REGIONAL- Worth & Co. Inc., Pipersville, Pa.;CANADA REGIONAL- Carmichael Engineering Ltd., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Read what these companies, given the shortage of techs, do to hire and retain them, as well as all employees. Over the past 12 months, find out what the average number of hours employees spend in training at these companies. Note how these businesses avoid tech burnout during the company’s busy seasons. Discover how these firms guarantee a steady workload, provide financial (and supportive) benefits, flexibility, pay increases, and much, much more.

You know you have a great contractor owner when an employee writes on a nomination form: “This job is a big part of my life. I feel good coming to work and being a part of such a great company. … I would be devastated without my job.”

Winners of The NEWS’ 2006 “Best Contractor to Work for” contest include (top left) Patricia Greiner of Greiner Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., (top middle) Greg McAfee of McAfee Heating & Air Conditioning, (top right) John Marrinucci of Worth and Co., (bottom left) Ray Urquhart of Carmichael Engineering, and (bottom right) Gary Weeks of Weeks Service Co.

For complete coverage of the award-winning companies, see the following feature articles in this issue:

• Worth its Weight in Gold Watches

• Best Contractor Is All About Giving Back

• Turn on the Tape Recorder and Let the Praises Flow

• Proud To Be ‘Old School’

• Big Contracting Business Sticks to Its Roots

Sidebar: The Premier Event

Find out why these contractors were chosen the best to work for. JoinThe NEWSfor a panel discussion and meet the winners.

• “Ways to Find and Retain Qualified Technicians/Employees”

• Jan. 30, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.

• Dallas Convention Center

• Room D174

Publication date:01/29/2007