On October 23rd, The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate published an article highlighting the U.S. Forensic organization and why it was selected a Top Work Place for 2021. Below are excerpts from the article.
U.S. Forensic thrives with family-like culture and focus on high-quality results
With dozens of service centers and about 100 employees, Metairie-based U.S. Forensic is one of the nation’s premier forensic engineering companies. That ongoing success is made possible with an atmosphere of trust, teamwork, communication and taking care of people.
“Any organization is only as good as the folks that run it,” said Larry Demmons, general counsel for U.S. Forensic. “USF is great because it is managed by competent, caring individuals that are not only concerned with running a successful business, but also the well-being of their employees.”
The company has a staff of engineers and experts who determine the cause of structural, equipment and automotive damages or failures. They also reconstruct vehicle accidents. Michelle Hughes, marketing director for U.S. Forensic, said the company often works with law firms, risk managers, municipalities, insurance adjusters and any client who is trying to determine the cause of a failure or accident. Hughes said one key principle at U.S. Forensic is to hire competent, licensed engineers and experts and then give them the resources to do what they do best.
Jeff Stark, a U.S. Forensic mechanical engineer and certified forensic locksmith, said that environment also helps provide him with a strong sense of purpose about his work. “This is especially true for cases that require me to dig deep to determine the root cause of a failure. In many cases, the answer to the client’s question is not what one would have originally thought,” Stark said. “U.S. Forensic not only allows me the opportunity, but encourages me to grow professionally. They also provide me with the proper tools to succeed at my job and show appreciation for my efforts.”
Many employees said the U.S. Forensic culture strikes the ideal balance between informality and respectfulness, which fosters strong relationships among the team.
The atmosphere is relaxed but professional. We are trusted to work with our peers respectfully without things feeling formal and stuffy,” said Joe Hughes, a P.E., partner and structural engineer. “Everyone is focused on hard work and diligence. It always comes down to going the extra mile to assure that our conclusions are accurate and well-supported.”
Managing Partner Gary Bell said that caring philosophy extends to U.S. Forensic’s compensation offerings and benefits, which include a 100% company-paid, low-deductible health insurance plan and 100% 401(K) matching. The measures are especially critical in today’s economic environment, where many employers are struggling to hire and retain employees.
Bell added that employees are also motivated by working for a company that allows them to have a healthy work-life balance and leaders who exhibit hard work, trust and fairness.
A large service company cannot be built by one person,” he said. “Developing a win-win strategy at the employee level puts the focus on the overall ‘win’ for everyone, and employees become less distracted by the outside noise of competing, but short-sighted, opportunities.”
Amanda Harden, a U.S. Forensic administrative assistant, said her managers and co-workers always watch out for one another to make sure people aren’t overwhelmed. “This company respects time off. That is a big plus in my book,” Harden said. “With previous employers, taking my PTO was always a big inconvenience. It’s not like that here. I have an entire admin staff that will gladly cover while I’m out.”
Harden added that when her residence was damaged after Hurricane Ida, her team asked more questions about her well-being than about when she could return to work.
I was offered help, as much time as I needed, financial assistance, and mold testing in my apartment if I needed it because I had a ceiling leak,” Harden said. “I’ve been brought to tears more than once with this company’s generosity and the fact that they actually care about me and my well-being. I am not just an employee or a number. It’s so much more than that here.”
Please visit nola.org to access the full article.