Lancaster-based home heating company Rhoads Energy has created an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and will be giving company ownership to each of its 160 employees.
Rhoads announced its new ESOP on Monday. The home heating company expects to begin transferring partial ownership to employees next spring.
The ESOP benefit will be in addition to the 401(k) program that has been offered to employees for years. As part of the ESOP, employees will be given an account that holds shares of stock in the company, which will routinely contribute shares to employee accounts, Rhoads wrote in a press release.
Each employee will receive stock that vests over the course of six years.
Rhoads Energy, a full-service home heating company offering HVAC, petroleum and heating oil, has had 18 acquisitions since 2003. The company was founded in 1917.
Shifting to partial employee ownership will ensure that Rhoads can continue its tradition of local ownership and control, said Michael DeBerdine III, CEO of Rhoads.
“Since the very beginning, our company has focused on nurturing our connections with the community,” DeBerdine said. “The ESOP is a game changer because it rewards employees directly for our success, and because it spreads ownership to the people who live and raise families in the region we serve.”
The shift to ESOP makes Rhoads one of two energy providers in the region offering employee ownership, according to the release. The benefit is also expected to help the company attract and retain talented workers.
“The history of ESOPs shows that they drive employee engagement and creativity,” DeBerdine said. “We believe that the program will encourage our team members to think more like owners: bringing fresh insight to challenges, looking for cost savings, and boosting profitability.”