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S. Oregon firms among state's top workplaces

Four companies based in Southern Oregon were recognized among the 100best places to work in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine.

Darex Corp. of Ashland ranked 17th, Bear Creek Corp. was 42nd, KeypointServices International was 89th and Sabroso was 94th.

It's the second annual listing for Darex, which manufactures drill sharpeningequipment. Bear Creek is the parent company of Harry and David and Jackson& Perkins mail order businesses, Keypoint is a commercial satellitelink installation company and Sabroso produces fruit purees.

Three enterprises on the list last year were not included on the '97list: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, DCS (Diversified Collection Services)Inc. of Grants Pass and Western Bank, which was acquired by Washington MutualSavings and Loan.

The ranking is based on pay and benefits, employee involvement, communityinvolvement, advancement and training and workplace culture.

The magazine noted four trends in this year's listings:

More companies are thinking in terms of total compensation,supplementing traditional pay and benefits.

Time is better than money for many people, so managers are using creativeways to give employees time.

Pay for entry-level positions has improved.

Teamwork as a concept continues to gather strength.

The magazine lists the top three companies as Rejuvenation, a Portlandlighting manufacturer; Griggs-Anderson Research, a Portland market researchcompany; and Intel, the computer chip and personal computing network companybased in Hillsboro.