There are approximately 10,000 Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) in the U.S. and EP is among just 4,000 which are 100% employee-owned. Studies consistently indicate that employee-owned companies outperform other types of companies and better weather economic fluctuations. In fact, employees with ESOP accounts have substantially greater retirement savings than those who work in other types of companies. And pride of ownership translates into greater dedication.
The employee-ownership structure enjoys bi-partisan support in Congress and we care about it a great deal. We go to tremendous lengths to spread the word about ESOPs both in our environment and on Capitol Hill. Our culture is grounded in the ownership philosophy and we have been honored to consistently receive regional and national recognition for our efforts in this area.