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Tuesday, December 7, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 74

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In corporate recruiting, an accent on wellness

By Allison Dinelli
News Reporter 

The tide is turning in the corporate world. To attract young, talented college graduates, many companies are being forced to provide benefits beyond those required by law.

In a Money magazine compilation of the best American companies to work for, wellness programs were the common threads binding the top picks.

"I believe that this generation is more health-conscious than ever before, and they are actively hunting companies that provide corporate wellness programs," said Bonnie Dowell of Reliant Energy.

Although sheer size brings most large companies under the sway of certain laws, many others go well beyond the minimum requirements by offering the benefits of health education and wellness.

In Houston alone, 28 corporate fitness facilities offer weight-lifting and group exercise, but wellness encompasses a great deal more that those things. Many corporate facilities feature more amenities than private health clubs, and they're available to employees for a nominal fee.

Texaco, for example, has an in-house facility with weight machines and aerobics classes, and other companies offer staff trainers, nutritionists and medical personnel.

These facilities are important tools in recruiting the best and brightest recent graduates, Dowell said.

"College graduates just starting out are always short of money, which makes it difficult to afford expensive gym memberships," she said. "If companies can provide a gym for them, then they will not only reap large returns on their wellness investments, but they will also have a happy and productive work force."
 

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