The most rewarding aspect of this tremendous result is that anonymous Curtis employee surveys determine 75% of the evaluation criteria. The other 25% is based on company provided information about our human resources practices, benefits, company culture and programs. This is not some externally judged contest, but it is based on a point system directly reflective of our own team’s level of employee satisfaction in a wide range of operational spheres.
The Curtis New York headquarters started to compete for this award in 2011, at first in the wrongly placed Small Company category, when we placed in 13th place. Our second effort in 2013, this time in the correct Large Companies category with 250 or more employees in North America, placed us in the respectable 5th place statewide. We improved that position again in 2015 by reaching 4th place. In 2017 we did even better as second place winners.
There was naturally a combination of joy, company pride and exuberance when the results were announced as Curtis took home this amazing honor, a testament to our corporate culture, our 10-Point Operating Principles, and a validation that our own employees have expressed job satisfaction on this level. On an international level we can tout a turnover rate of only 5%, which would be the envy of even the best-run companies worldwide. We have much to be proud of and this is just one of many validations.
Of course we are proud of the 2nd place ranking in the entire State of New York. We are even more proud of and grateful to the Curtis people in New York and worldwide who have helped Curtis become what we are … a successful global corporation and a great place to work.
To understand the Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards: Created in 2007, these celebrated annual awards are part of a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, whose practices benefit the State's businesses, economy, and workforce. To be considered for participation, organizations had to fulfill specific registration eligibility requirements, then participate in a two-part survey of employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies.
In what is today a rarity, Tom has spent his entire professional career, spanning more than a quarter of a century, at Curtis. While he was working on his Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York, he was already active in a series of semester break internships at Curtis, where he stood out for his competency, focus on excellence, and pleasant personality. The Yorktown, New York, native joined the company immediately after earning his Bachelor’s degree. In the subsequent years, he has held a number of positions in the organization, establishing the trust and confidence of his global co-workers, Curtis suppliers and associates. His long term, successful track record has included progressively responsible roles as Manufacturing Engineer, Manufacturing/Production Manager, Director of Corporate Manufacturing and Director of Global Sourcing & Supplier Quality Engineering.
In his new role as Vice President – Quality Assurance, Mr. Pergolizzi is responsible for the QA teams at each Curtis manufacturing location: Puerto Rico, Bulgaria, China and local sourcing teams in New York and California.
Mr. Pergolizzi has defined his primary mission and objectives as follows:
“My primary focus is to help assure that the quality and integrity of our products are maintained at the highest possible level by sustaining a healthy global sourcing strategy, proactively addressing issues as they arise and maintain strong communication among all groups.”
“It is also my primary plan to foster collaboration between our design engineering centers in New York, California, China, Switzerland and our supplier base to assure that our mechanical parts are engineered for quality manufacturing upfront avoiding future issues and production delays.”
Mr.Pergolizzi has already assumed his new position and is actively engaged in helping Curtis continue its global success. We are confident that he brings the right combination of enthusiasm, wide ranging skills and professionalism to lead this highly important global function.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW: When did we move? Relocation was completed during August, 2016 and a formal opening ceremony took place on October 16, 2016. The relocation plan was executed on time. Curtis produced an inventory of products ahead to ensure than no customers were negatively affected due to our relocation.
Where did we move to? The new facility is only five miles away from our current plant, and located in the Sabana Abajo Industrial Park, still in Carolina.
Why make this move? The new facility is 80K sq.ft., compared to 27K sq.ft. of the old building. Besides getting more floor space, the new facility is designed to withstand both hurricanes and seismic activity, even better than the current plant, for greater protection during a natural disaster. The new factory is protected against natural disasters. It has seismic bracing, on site water storage tanks, and an emergency generator capable of running the entire plant for up to 10 days without a refill of fuel. This assures uptime of customer lines. The new building also has its own water supply and a backup generator capable of supporting the entire operation.
As a lean manufacturer, Curtis took the opportunity to establish a new, open-plan factory layout to institute significant improvements in our manufacturing flows. That included a reduction in the manual handling of products, and the use of internal kanbans to supply PCBs to the assembly lines.
Did the move impact personnel? No employees left the company as a result of the relocation, in fact our employees are extremely happy with much improved working conditions in the new building.
Were manufacturing processes validated in the new facility? All manufacturing processes were thoroughly validated prior to restarting production. This included independent: • Installation qualifications – to ensure the equipment and processes were installed and calibrated properly. • Operational qualifications – to establish that equipment and processes meet specifications. • Performance qualifications – to establish evidence that the equipment and processes, under stress conditions, consistently meet predetermined requirements validated through sample production runs.
We welcome your visit. Some customers have already audited our new facility and their observations have been very positive.
Doug Claffey, CEO of Workplace Dynamics said, “To be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together. Claffey adds, “Without this sense of connection, an organization doesn’t have a shot at being named a Top Workplace.”
Curtis CA in Livermore, California, is one of four Curtis engineering centers. The company was founded as Curtis PMC in 1985, and was initially located in Dublin, CA. Curtis California is one of the world’s largest controller technical centers and is a highly specialized engineering facility focused on the design and development of advanced motor speed controllers for electric vehicles of all types. A motor speed controller is an electronic device that is used to vary the speed (revolutions per minute) of an electric motor by varying the voltage and/or current to the motor. This allows an electric vehicle to smoothly accelerate, decelerate and forward/reverse.
Curtis controllers are internationally recognized for their technical advancement, reliability and performance. That’s why millions of Curtis PMC motor speed controllers have been sold to EV OEMs worldwide. Globally, all types of industrial, utility, airport, recreational and light-on road vehicles and wheelchairs use Curtis PMC brand controllers. Whether it is a forklift or a golf car, a luggage carrier at airports or a neighborhood electric vehicle, chances are that it is powered by Curtis. Curtis PMC was a green technology company from the get-go, even before the term was popularized, contributing globally to zero-emission transportation. Employees, many of whom drive their electric cars to work, commute from all over the Tri-Valley Region, with most of our staff living within a 30-mile radius of the Livermore facility.
The summit was sponsored by the Office of International Affairs of the US Department of the Treasury and was closed to the press; but, announced in the White House Press briefing as a pairing of Indian and US companies who collaborate in innovative cooperative business models. Eight US and Indian CEOs were invited to participate in the roundtable, held at the Trident Nariman Point Hotel in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 6, 2010, with an audience of young Indian entrepreneurs in attendance. Each of the CEOs represented a cooperative technical and business alliance and corporate friendship between Indian and American corporations. The focus of the roundtable was on technologies that have a positive effect on public health and quality of life. Stuart E. Marwell and Anand Mahindra, Vice Chair of Mahindra & Mahindra, LTD, one of India’s largest automotive & farm equipment companies, represented the 15 year relationship between the REVA Electric Car Company, now Mahindra-Reva and Curtis. Reva is the foremost electric car company in India, managed by Indian inventor and entrepreneur, Chetan Maini. REVA markets its products in many countries, including in Europe. Curtis is a global leader in electric vehicle technologies. Headquartered in Mount Kisco, New York, Curtis markets vehicle control systems and instrumentation. Mahindra & Mahindra is a Mumbai headquartered international automotive and industrial vehicle company with $7 billion in annual sales. The other CEOs to speak at the roundtable were: Rashmi Barbhiya - Advinus - medical research w. Corning, a company that focuses on neglected infectious diseases. Ajay Piramal of Piramal Corp. a clean water systems/water purification company and Netha Johnson of Pentair. Vinod Agarwal of Applied Solar Technologies and Hybrid Solar Diesel and Brian Ashley of Suniva Solar Systems. Anand Mahindra, head of the Mahindra group, spoke of the development of electric vehicles and the special relationship between Mahindra-Reva and Curtis. He shared the perspective that the future of collaboration between India and the US, and the advancement of technologies, such as electric cars, will benefit from US expertise and know-how in developing templates and business models, including new transportation models. This collaborative business model should include a convergence of global partners, including university technical centers, municipalities, infrastructure and technology partners. “Anyone who extrapolates solutions from the West to India and China is making a mistake. These countries need solutions for their own situations and all partners need to understand that in order to be successful.” Curtis, a fifty year old privately held corporation, has been active in the EV technology field for decades, and has had 15 years experience in India with the electrification of transportation and industrial vehicles. Indeed, Curtis instruments were used on the most famous EV of all, the Lunar Roving Vehicle driven during the Apollo moon landings. Stuart E. Marwell said, “Curtis played a role in the space race - one of the great moments of technological innovation of the 20th century. Today we are part of the climate change solution, the greatest technological challenge of the 21st century. The race to the moon was competition between nations. The climate change challenge will require cooperation between nations. For our engineers in India, this is a matter of national pride. For our colleagues in the Unites States, it is the pride of exporting green technology - which helps retain and create jobs in America.” Among the small audience of Indian entrepreneurs invited were special personalities involved in making a positive social impact: Chetna Sinha is the founder of Mann Deshi Bank, a microfinance bank that lends funds and teaches entrepreneurial skills to women in rural areas. Anand Shah is CEO of a social enterprise that increases access to pure drinking water through entrepreneurship. Sunita Maheshwari is co-founder of Teleradiology Solutions which provides teleradiology solutions in rural parts of India and across the globe. Kiran Sethi, director of the Riverside School in Ahmedaba,India, which offers programs for pre-schoolers. Plus, sixteen others involved in business and technology which helps India, and the world. Consequent to the meeting with the CEOs, including Stuart E. Marwell and Anand Mahindra, President Obama mentioned the electrification of vehicles in India in two of his keynote speeches to the entire Indian and American audience several times; and, he specifically referred to the EV CEOs who create jobs in both nations.