For professionals and businesses considering working in, or with companies in, Happy Valley, nothing can compete. Business Insider ranked State College fourth in its recent 21 best cities in the Northeast to live in after the coronavirus, but the city isn’t new to “best cities” lists. State College previously ranked 26th overall in best cities to move to, citing its low unemployment and a well-educated population, with 46.7% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. The diverse and educated population makes it a top-tier pool of talent for businesses to choose from.
Attracting and retaining that top talent is a key to business success. One of the best ways to do that? Provide employees with an attractive work-life balance that recognizes the importance of life outside of work and makes life at work more enjoyable. Several Happy Valley businesses are prioritizing a work-life balance that attracts top talent. Not only that, Happy Valley itself is… well, a happy valley, which makes the work-life balance so accessible that it attracts businesses to set up shop.
One of the businesses utilizing the tools of the Happy Valley area to attract top talent is Videon. Videon develops 4K and HD encoding and streaming products. They specialize in moving media from source to screen, and their technology has been incorporated into hundreds of millions of devices.
Human Resources Director Joan Potter emphasizes that, at Videon, their focus is on valuing others.
“Videon actively supports its employees, community and the environment by emphasizing the belief that we should care more about others than we do about ourselves. Volunteering for non-profit organizations and community activities has always been encouraged, and is such a great way to meet new people, boost self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose,” Potter says.
The focus on others no doubt provides value in and of itself to employees, but Videon takes care of their own, too – and quite well. Potter describes the comfortable work atmosphere as one where co-workers work hard and enjoy camaraderie, while also recognizing that each employee has a life outside of work. The act of juggling family, personal life and work is a challenge Videon acknowledges with flexible scheduling to allow employees to attend children’s games and programs, as well as take time off for unexpected events.
In addition, Videon also provides a wellness program and robust benefits package for its employees. With an onsite gym, basketball hoop and nearby trails for biking and walking, opportunities abound to stay active before and after work or over the lunch hour. And if you need a break during the work day, you can always play pool or pinball with a co-worker to take a brain break.
Another key component to Videon’s employee focus is connecting with employees' families.
“Past events like Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and Bring in Your Parents Day, along with numerous gatherings held throughout the year, have given employees and their families a chance to connect and spend time together at Videon,” Potter says. “Our annual holiday party even includes Santa delivering personalized gifts to employees’ children. We also offer summer internships to our employees’ high-school-age children, to provide them with a great experience of what it’s like to work at a high-tech company and learn new skills.”
One of the best things about being based in State College, either as a business or a professional, is life outside of work. State College provides easy access to art, music and entertainment thanks to its proximity to Penn State. Biking, hiking and walking trails can be found in nearly every part of town, making exercising or environmentally-friendly transportation easy. Penn State also ensures that diverse shops and restaurants can easily find a home in downtown State College or the surrounding area.
Videon recognizes the many benefits of a Happy-Valley-based business, top talent recruiting and university access among them, and encourages businesses and professionals considering a home in Happy Valley to take the leap and join the fun.
“Happy Valley is a wonderfully diverse area, with endless opportunities to interact with interesting people from every walk of life,” Potter says. “There is a very active entrepreneurial network here to support start-ups as well as more established companies, and having Penn State as a neighbor is a great resource, too. Businesses can benefit from a talented pool of student workers and employees can benefit from access to lifelong learning opportunities.”