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Edge magazine and the Chattanooga Times Free Press are launching a new program to recognize the "Best Places to Work" in the Chattanooga area.

The monthly business magazine is working with the Best Companies Group to offer an employee engagement and survey program to help employers get feedback from their own workers and to provide recognition in the community for those employers viewed as the best by their employees.

The surveys are conducted by Best Companies Group, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based company that surveys workers at more than 6,000 companies each year. The confidential questionnaires ask about on worker engagement, satisfaction and commitment to their employer, along with other workplace ratings.

"When it comes to the impact a company can have on economic development within their community, it is to a large degree dependent on the impact of their employees," said Jeff DeLoach, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "A strong, happy, and motivated staff is one of the most critical aspects of growing a company as well as growing the economic development a company can have for it's community. So when companies put intentional energy into trying to create a work environment that creates a "great place to work" culture, the entire community benefits. I'm happy the Times Free Press and Edge magazine has taken on this project of helping to identify companies who are charting this course for us."

Peter Burke, president and co-founder of the Best Companies Group, said the 5-year-old company has created over 70 other Best Places to Work programs throughout the United States and other countries and its rich data base provides comparative data for employers to see how they stack up with others in their industry.

Employers may sign up for the "Best Places to Work" program before Oct. 25 at EdgeBestPlacestoWork.com.

The process is free for organizations which choose to use the online survey method. Companies will receive an invoice via email, if they choose to use the paper survey method, purchase reports or make any customization to the survey.

Employee surveys will be conducted later this year and compiled and ranked for recognition next May in Edge and the Times Free Press, which will also recognize top employers in the region at an awards program.

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