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What's the best place to work in the United States?

By Tyrel Linkhorn • Mar 25, 2016 at 7:00 PM

FINDLAY — Forbes magazine has named Marathon Petroleum Corp. the country’s best large employer based on an extensive national survey of U.S. workers conducted last fall.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Findlay oil refiner beat out a number of firms that are regularly recognized as great places to work, including Google, Costco, USAA, and Facebook.

“That just makes it all the more remarkable a story, I think, that such an unexpected company ranks above everybody else,” Forbes leadership editor Frederick Allen said in an interview. “I think that speaks a lot to the company and that's why we wanted to write them up and look at them in depth.”

Marathon’s 2013 purchase and revamping of a disaster-plagued BP refinery in Galveston, Texas, is featured in the April 19 issue of Forbes.

Forbes worked with data provider Statista to conduct the online survey, which included 30,000 U.S. workers. Participants were asked where they worked and a number of questions about their employer, including how likely they would be to recommend their workplace to family or friends.

The magazine didn’t publish detailed survey results, but said Marathon did well in the categories of image, diversity, wages, and workplace.

Marathon was third last year, which was the first year for the Forbes-Statista survey.

Company spokesman Jamal Kheiry said the company was honored to have been named the top employer by Forbes.

“Our success is related directly to the hard work of our employees,” he said. “We appreciate the recognition and all the work our employees do as we manufacture, market, and transport the fuels and products millions of people rely on every day.”

Marathon owns and operates seven refineries, including ones in Detroit and Canton, Ohio.

The company also has 13,000 miles of pipeline, and about 2,800 gas stations.

All together, Marathon has more than 45,000 employees.

A current count of Findlay employees wasn’t available, though a year ago officials told The Blade the company employed about 2,000 people in Findlay.

Last year the company reported a profit of $2.85 billion on revenues of $72.1 billion — easily making Marathon the largest public company in northwestern Ohio.

Forbes’ rankings included 500 companies with more than 5,000 employees, and 250 companies with between 1,000 and 5,000 employees.

In addition to Marathon, 16 Ohio companies made the list of large firms, including Owens Corning at No. 138, and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. at 437.

Topping the list of midsize employers was Maine outfitter L.L. Bean Inc.

Mr. Allen said finding good places to work is a near-universal concern, making studies like this interesting and valuable.

“There’s a tougher competition for workers, there's a tougher comp for jobs and I think there's huge, broad interest in what are the great places you'd really want to work at if you can,” he said.

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©2016 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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