Oregon Business magazine has named three Rogue Valley businesses to its list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon.

Oregon Business magazine has named three Rogue Valley businesses to its list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon.

Avista Utilities, Adroit Construction, and S&B James Construction made the grade in the magazine's 17th annual survey.

Avista Utilities' regional office, in Medford, ranked No. 14 in the large business category, reserved for businesses that employ more than 250 people worldwide. The company has more than 1,500 people in its national work force and employs 62 Oregonians.

Ashland-based Adroit Construction, which has 100 employees (all in Oregon), ranked No. 6 in the medium category (50 to 249 employees) and S&B James Construction, in White City, ranked No. 22 in the small-company category, with 35 in-state employees.

The magazine rates only businesses that sign up for a survey prepared by the magazine. This year, 303 businesses participated.

The survey gives employees a chance to answer questions about the companies they work for, and their responses account for five-sixths of the 500 possible points that determine a company's final rank. Higher employee satisfaction is rewarded with a higher rank. At least 20 percent of a company's workforce must anonymously submit the survey for a company to qualify for the list.

Travis Christian, human resource manager at Adroit Construction, said the survey results give his company an opportunity to make educated adjustments and continue improving in areas where needed.

"Ultimately, it's employees that drive a successful business," he said. "When you take care of them, they want to work for you."

Adroit Construction rose five places in the rankings, from its No. 11 spot last year. Avista fell six places from its No. 8 rank in 2009.

S&B James Construction made the list for the first time.

Several local companies that have made the rankings in the past dropped out this year, including Medford's US Cellular regional branch, which ranked fifth on the large company list in 2009 and was ranked first in Oregon from 2006 through 2008.

Roberta Winger, US Cellular's director of sales in California and Oregon, said making the Top 100 list is a "great honor," but the company had to focus on other areas this year and chose not to administer the survey to its employees.

Overall, the annual study from Oregon Business attracted 71 fewer participating companies than it did in 2009.

The No.1 business in the large category was Microsoft Corp. in Portland. Cascade Plumbing and Heating in Salem took the top spot in the medium-sized category and Pittman & Brooks PC took the No.1 spot in the small business category.

Samuel C. Wheeler is a Mail Tribune intern. Reach him at inter541-776-4486