VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has named PJM Interconnection among the top 100 most adoption-friendly companies in the nation for the 14th consecutive year. PJM, operator of the nation's largest power grid, also ranked first again among energy and utility companies.
PJM has been offering substantial financial assistance for adoption-related expenses incurred by full-time employees since 2006. PJM's award-winning policy reimburses families for many types of expenses related to adopting a child, including fees, travel and legal costs.
Adoption assistance remains a rare benefit offered by employers. Just one in 10 companies offered adoption-friendly employee benefits in 2019, according to an annual survey of employee benefits by the Society for Human Resources Management, an industry trade group.
When accountant Mark Fioresi joined PJM in 2016, the company's financial assistance for adoption helped start the expensive three-year journey to expand his family and add a second adopted child. Last year, Hannah arrived from a birth mother near Reading to join Mark and his wife Lauren and big sister Hannah, age 6, in their Bucks County home.
The substantial financial assistance provided by PJM's adoption benefit "was something that took a weight off our shoulders," Fioresi said. "Nobody thinks of the financial impact of adoption. The cost of adopting two is equivalent to putting an addition on our house."
Family-friendly benefits at PJM seek to support employees and their families wherever possible, said Nora Swimm, Senior Vice President – Corporate Client Services.
"We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to helping employees growing their families through adoption," Swimm said. "As we continually create a better workplace, adoption benefits reflect our commitment to supporting employees and families."
Scott Baker, Senior Business Solution Analyst – Applied Innovation, and his wife, Katie, made use of PJM's adoption benefits after adopting their infant daughter Morgan in 2019.
"We knew adoption was how we wanted to build our family, and we are so thrilled that Morgan is finally a part of it," Baker said. "We couldn't imagine it any other way."
While the couple was prepared to shoulder the financial burden of adoption expenses, Baker said they were grateful "we had this great benefit to lean on."
The annual October announcement of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list precedes National Adoption Month, a campaign to raise awareness for children in foster care. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, himself an adopted child, was a lifelong champion of adoption.
Each year since 2002, the foundation has surveyed the nation's employers for its ranking of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. The annual survey weighs adoption-friendly corporate policies, including financial reimbursement for the costs of adoption and paid leave for employees.
Go to the Dave Thomas Foundation for more information on adoption and to see a listing of honored companies.
PJM Interconnection, founded in 1927, ensures the reliability of the high-voltage electric power system serving 65 million people in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM coordinates and directs the operation of the region's transmission grid, which includes over 84,042 miles of transmission lines; administers a competitive wholesale electricity market; and plans regional transmission expansion improvements to maintain grid reliability and relieve congestion. PJM's regional grid and market operations produce annual savings of $3.2 billion to $4 billion. For the latest news about PJM, visit PJM Inside Lines at insidelines.pjm.com.
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SOURCE PJM Interconnection