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 in the energy and utility company category.
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, adoption assistance helped greatly with reimbursement for the expensive three-year journey to expand his family and add a second adopted child. Last year, infant Hannah arrived from a birth mother near Reading to join Mark and his wife Lauren and big sister Kathryn, 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.”
PJM’s family-friendly benefits are designed to support employees wherever possible, said Nora Swimm, Senior Vice President – Corporate Client Services.
“We are proud to be recognized for our commitment to helping employees grow their families through adoption,” Swimm said. “As we continually create a better workplace, adoption benefits reflect our commitment to supporting employees and families.”
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.
Scott Baker, Senior Business Solution Analyst – Applied Innovation, and his wife, Katie Krackenberger, made use of PJM’s adoption benefits when they welcomed infant daughter Morgan to their family in 2019 after a two-year process.
“We always talked about adoption. We have family members and friends who were adopted and always thought of that as our path to parenthood,” Baker said.
“Adoption is definitely not cheap,” Baker said. “Knowing it was going to be expensive, we had this great benefit to lean on. It is a big help.”
As Morgan recently celebrated her first birthday, Baker and his wife are proud their story helps PJM celebrate the distinction from the Dave Thomas Foundation, which seeks to promote and educate families about the process and benefits of adoption.
“We knew adoption was how we wanted to build our family, and we are so thrilled that Morgan is finally a part of it,” he said. Their daughter, Morgan, he said, “has brought so much joy to our home. We couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
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.
Original source: PJM