Rancho Cordova's VSP Global was recognized as one of the nation's top 100 job-creating companies by Inc. magazine last week. VSP was one of a number of California firms to make the business publication's list.
Inc.'s inaugural Hire Power Awards mark "the job creators who are restoring lives and rebuilding the economy by putting Americans back to work."
The awards shine a light on companies that continued to hire during the recession's dark days: The top 100 firms combined to create more than 73,000 jobs from 2008 through 2011, according to Inc.
That's "an amazing feat, given that much of that job growth came during the heart of the recession," Inc. Editor-in-Chief Eric Schurenberg said in announcing the list.
VSP created 943 jobs from 2008 through 2011, good for 11th on the list.
The eye-care insurer, with some 2,100 people on the payroll, is one of the Sacramento area's largest employers and has long been a key player in the region.
"They're a great asset to California. They're a very quality organization," said Leslie McBride, a deputy director at the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. "They recognize the value of the workforce and recognize that quality of life is important to the workforce."
Along with VSP, corporate California was well-represented on Inc.'s list, with four entries in the top 10. The No. 1 company was Santa Ana's Universal Services of America, a janitorial and security firm, with Irvine's Pacific Dental Services at No. 4 and San Mateo clean energy firm SolarCity at No. 10. The three companies created 19,770 jobs among them.
In all, California firms that made the list created more than 25,500 jobs.
State business development officials, often in the role of combating assertions that California is hostile to business and awash in regulation, were quick to pounce on Inc.'s report.
State officials readily cite the creation of 295,000 private-sector jobs in California from October 2011 to October 2012 -- a 2.1 percent annual growth rate that outpaces the national average.
"The facts speak for themselves. We're adding more jobs than the rest of the country," said McBride, citing the state's diverse industry mix, skilled workforce, quality of life and strong university system.
No fewer than 10 industries are represented by California firms that made the magazine's list.
Meanwhile, VSP continues to expand its reach globally. The not-for-profit company is a nearly $4 billion enterprise with an international eyewear market and insures millions who are enrolled in one of the nation's largest vision benefit plans.
"VSP Global is growing both within the U.S. and globally, in order to meet the demands of our clients and members," said Shauna Harrington, workforce development director at VSP Global.
The company in October announced plans to add some 400 jobs after settling a dispute with state officials that led to talk of the firm leaving Rancho Cordova.
VSP is in the midst of hiring an initial 150 workers in information technology, marketing, financial analysis and other specialties.
Find Inc.'s Hire Power list at www.inc.com/hire-power/list.
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