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Sidney Bolton


I started working at S&C Electric in 1996. Before that, I had worked since the age of 17 at various factories in and around the Chicago area, where I have lived on the city’s Southside since I was a kid. Those jobs didn’t provide retirement resources. All they provided was a check. This all changed when I started as a machinist at S&C, where I was offered a pension plan, which was company standard at the time. Though the company wasn’t employee-owned yet, it already stood out as going a little further on behalf of the workers.

So it made sense when S&C sold to us employees through an ESOP in 2007. At first I didn’t know what an ESOP was, and I thought it would benefit the company more than the employees, but that hasn’t been the case at all. Thanks to the ESOP, as well as the pension benefits rolled over into a KSOP, I will be able to retire this year, a full two years ahead of schedule.

More than just a financial benefit, S&C has really and truly treated me like a member of the family. One day in 2015, shortly after coming into work, my left leg was all of a sudden paralyzed. I couldn’t move it and had to drag it around with me. If you had stuck a pin in it, I wouldn’t have felt it. I had no idea what was wrong. At the hospital, the doctors did scans that showed something on my brain. They assumed it was a tumor and insisted on operating, but my coworkers at S&C contacted Northwestern University and got me a second opinion with specialists who discovered that it wasn’t a tumor after all but a benign cyst. My paralysis was actually being caused by two slipped discs in my neck. The doctors removed it and solved the problem, and S&C’s help in seeking another opinion saved me more than just costly hospital bills.

Now I’m retiring as a senior team leader after 20 years and am looking forward to playing golf, shooting pool, volunteering at the hospital, and, more than anything, spending time with my wife, kids, and my grandkids, making sure I can instill love and decency in them. And I get to start all of this two years early, thanks to S&C.

This is just one story. There are nearly 1,800 people here, and I’m sure each and every one of them can give you a story just like this, where S&C has made a difference in their lives—sending kids to school, helping them rise up.


Ayanna Banks


I have been a Recology owner for 17 years. I am San Francisco native, born and raised in the Bayview Hunter’s Point. At Recology, I say “we” because we are a 100% employee-owned company. That means a lot, because we can look forward to a great retirement, and they have outstanding benefits for employee-owners and their families.

Recology has given me a great opportunity in life, from being able to send my children to college, to being able to give back to the community I grew up in. Recology has allowed me to put on a toy drive for the past 4 years for the Bayview Hunter’s Point Willie Mays Boys and Girls club. Recology is a company that gives back to their communities.

I am a single mother of two beautiful girls, and being an owner at Recology has given me the tools I need to make them successful in life. Being an ESOP company is more like being one family, and that’s because everyone cares. They know that this is just not a company they work at, it’s a company they have ownership in. That is what I love about being an ESOP company.

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