Oregon’s second-largest tech community, located in Eugene, is becoming a hotbed of innovation and progressive business practices. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with leaders from three remarkable companies: Pipeworks, Uptime Sciences, and Online ADA (Ability). These organizations are not only driving innovation in their respective industries but are also setting new standards for hiring and retention policies. Let’s delve into the unique approaches and philosophies that make these companies stand out in the tech landscape.
Nestled in downtown Eugene, Pipeworks is a game development company that has cultivated a work environment centered around its most valuable asset: its employees. Upon entering their unassuming headquarters, it becomes clear that Pipeworks has designed its space to reflect its core values. Vibrant posters of their renowned games adorn the walls, creating an atmosphere of inspiration and creativity.
Jay Arrera, Pipeworks’ Production Director, explained how the company prioritizes employee empowerment through flexible work arrangements. With a focus on team collaboration, Pipeworks allows its staff to choose between remote, hybrid, or in-person work setups. This flexibility has not only attracted top-tier talent from across the country but has also improved the diversity of their workforce.
The Pipeworks office is a three-story dynamic workspace, with each floor serving a specific purpose. The basement houses top-secret IP projects, while the main floor boasts project-based collaboration spaces, including highly versatile conference rooms that can expand into larger collaborative areas. The top floor accommodates the full-time on-site staff, offering ample natural light, spacious workstations, and captivating concept art from current and past projects.
Uptime Sciences: Nurturing Innovation through an Investment in Workforce
Aaron Ferraiulolo, President of Uptime Sciences in Eugene provides a great perspective: “Employees are investments, not expenses”. When you change your perspective to focus on the stability of your team, everything else falls into place. Their unwavering commitment to prioritizing employees’ well-being allows the business to thrive while nurturing a culture of trust and loyalty.
In the realm of cybersecurity, Uptime Sciences faces the challenge of educating the “old guard” about the importance of robust security measures. They approach this knowledge gap with patience and grace, helping organizations understand the value of cybersecurity before it’s too late. By providing guidance and support, they assist businesses in identifying vulnerabilities and implementing effective policies and tools. Uptime Sciences is a champion of cybersecurity, empowering organizations to make informed decisions and safeguard their valuable assets.
Ability: Empowering People and Enhancing Digital Accessibility
Ability is revolutionizing how we approach digital inclusivity. They have been at the forefront of digital accessibility for years and, headquartered in Eugene, they are one of a few companies in the world that are leading and innovating the world of digital accessibility. They have pioneered AI and human lead solutions to help web and software development teams to make content, websites, and software accessible to people with disabilities.
As a leader in the accessibility world, they bring well-paying jobs and progressive benefits that have attracted talented people from around the country. About one-fourth of their workforce has relocated to join their in-person workforce in Oregon.
With a strong focus on people, Ability invests in its employees, providing them with exceptional resources and creating a supportive work environment. Their dedication to empowering their team members translates into innovative solutions that make digital platforms from clients such as Walmart, Bank of America, and Chrysler, accessible to all individuals.
Revitalizing Downtown Eugene: Embracing Positive Transformation
Downtown Eugene, a vibrant district with immense potential, has captured the attention and commitment of organizations such as Pipeworks, Eugene Mindworks/Eugene HQ, and Uptime Sciences. These companies share a collective vision of revitalizing downtown to unlock its full positive impact on the community.
Jay from Pipeworks expresses his deep affection for Eugene and acknowledges the evolving landscape where competition transcends regional boundaries. Recognizing this, cities must actively support local businesses, understanding that they are not only competing within the region but on a global scale. While some employees may have concerns about downtown’s safety, Jay remains optimistic about the city’s potential and the steps being taken to create a secure and inviting environment.
Uptime Sciences recognizes the intriguing balance between innovation and traditional perspectives in downtown Eugene. This dynamic presents an opportunity to harness the strengths of both worlds. By fostering collaboration and engaging with established institutions, they believe in driving positive change and nurturing a thriving downtown ecosystem that embodies progress.