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First Solar in Germany Recognized as Great Place to Work

published: 2011-02-28 16:11

The Great Place to Work® Institute recognized First Solar, Inc.’s German operations as one of the best places to work in the country.

First Solar finished 14th on the list of employers in the category of companies with between 500 and 2,000 employees. First Solar is also the only manufacturing company in eastern Germany to be recognized with the coveted prize.

The prize was awarded by the Great Place to Work® Institute in cooperation with the New Quality of Work Initiative, the Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs, the University of Cologne, the Handelsblatt newspaper, and the personalmagazin human resources magazine. It applies to First Solar’s German operations, which include First Solar Manufacturing GmbH in Frankfurt/Oder, the company’s Mainz sales and marketing headquarters, a holding company and a small team working in Berlin. First Solar Manufacturing GmbH also made the list of top employers in Germany in 2010.

“The prize recognizes our philosophy of providing every employee an attractive job in an attractive sector from production to sales and customer service,” said Stephan Hansen, managing director of First Solar GmbH. “Creating an atmosphere in which every employee feels good is part of our global corporate culture. We also offer attractive salaries and share our success with employees with shares and an annual bonus,” he said.

First Solar employs more than 800 people in Germany—700 in Frankfurt/Oder, and more than 100 in Mainz and Berlin. The company is in the process of expanding its German manufacturing operations to double production and create another 500 jobs.

“Our success depends upon a culture that encourages equality, respect and friendly collaboration,” said Burghard von Westerholt, managing director of First Solar Manufacturing GmbH. “Happy, motivated associates are our most valuable capital.”

The award was the result of an anonymous survey by the Great Place to Work® Institute among the company’s employees. Topics such as credibility, respect, fairness, pride and team spirit accounted for 67% of the weighted result. The remaining 33% was the result of a cultural audit that analyzed the company’s human resources plans and practices.


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