Training magazine Ranks 2017 Training Top 125 Organizations

These are the organizations that excelled at employee training and development in the last year.

Excelsior, MN (January 31, 2017)—Keller Williams Realty, Inc., was welcomed into the No. 1 spot on the 2017 Training Top 125 and earned induction into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame in 2018 after ranking in the Top 10 for four consecutive years. Four companies landed Top 5 spots for the first time: New York Community Bancorp, Inc., at No. 2; Leading Real Estate Companies of the World at No. 3; BNSF Railway at No. 4; and Sonic Automotive, Inc., at No. 5.

Some 23 new companies broke into the Top 125 this year. The majority of the companies are in the finance/banking, health/medical services, insurance, business services, and hospitality industries. See the end of this article for the full list of winners.

Training magazine recognized the 2017 Training Top 125 winners with crystal awards and revealed their rankings during the Gala by the Sea held last night during the Training 2017 Conference & Expo at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. The black-tie gala was sponsored by Brella Learning, CEB, Godiva, Pelucida, SAP, Seiko, the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame, and Turning Technologies. Seiko served as the official timekeeper of the event, and Pelucida provided the crystal awards.

Now in its 17th year, the Training Top 125 is the only report that ranks companies unsurpassed in harnessing human capital. Some overall statistics from the quantitative analysis of the winning 2017 Training Top 125 applications include:

  • The mean revenue was $7.9 billion U.S. and $7.7 billion worldwide. The mean training budget was $35.5 million, representing 4.53 percent of payroll. The mean amount of training cost savings was 12 percent.
  • The mean number of total employees trained per organization (including independent contractors and franchisees) was 34,815, with 25,160 trained in the classroom and 64,516 trained online. A mean of 641 courses were offered as instructor-led sessions; 3,853 were offered as online self-paced modules; and 215 were offered as virtual instructor-led classrooms. All of the 2017 Training Top 125ers have a technology infrastructure.
  • The average number of full-time and part-time trainers was 147 and 316, respectively.
  • Some 95 percent of Top 125 winners have a tuition reimbursement program. A mean of 11 percent of eligible employees made use of tuition reimbursement programs in the last year. Median spend on tuition reimbursement programs was $352,915.
  • Some 99 percent of winners use employee satisfaction surveys, while all use competency maps and personal/individual development plans. Some 76 percent tie managers’ compensation directly to the development of their direct reports.
  • On the evaluation side, 91 percent of applicants utilize Return on Value; 94 percent utilize Return on Investment; 82 percent utilize Balanced Scorecards; and 71 percent utilize Six Sigma. The Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation are more widely used: Level 1 (100 percent), Level 2 (99 percent), and Levels 3 and 4 (98 percent).

During the gala, Training inducted Jiffy Lube International, Inc.; CHG Healthcare Services; and Capital BlueCross into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame after they ranked in the Top 10 of the Training Top 125 companies for four consecutive years. Two Top 125 winners—Keller Williams Realty, Inc., and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—met the criteria in 2017 and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. Members remain in the Top 10 Hall of Fame for a minimum of three years. After that, they can choose to remain in the Hall of Fame by adhering to specific guidelines or they can opt to reapply for Training Top 125 consideration.

In addition, yesterday afternoon, Training recognized innovative and successful learning and development programs and practices utilized by the Training Top 125 winners. Best Practice and Outstanding Training Initiative winners received crystal trophies during a ceremony on the Expo Stage. They were (in alphabetical order):


  • BB&T Corporation
  • General Motors Sales, Service & Marketing Division
  • Mastercard
  • Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
  • Ricoh USA, Inc.


  • ADP, LLC
  • Best Buy
  • BNSF Railway
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Paychex, Inc.

“The 2017 Training Top 125 winners are beacons of light for the training industry,” notes Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief of Training magazine. “We salute their unwavering dedication to employee training and development and their passionate belief in continuous learning. We hope they will continue to ride the wave of their training success and expand their learning and development horizons!

The Top 125 ranking is determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs, and how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.

Companies that wish to be considered for Top 125 ranking complete a detailed application, which is scored both quantitatively (70 percent of total score) by an outside research and statistical data company and qualitatively (30 percent of total score) by Training magazine editors and Top 10 Hall of Fame representatives.

For a profile of each of the Top 5 companies on the Training Top 125, additional information about the training efforts of all 125 companies, details on the programs receiving Best Practice and Outstanding Training Initiative awards, and the Hall of Fame inductees, see the January/February 2017 issue. The digital edition can be found online at

To order a copy of the issue or Training Top 125 merchandise, visit:

About Training magazine

Training is a 53-year-old professional development magazine written for training, Human Resources, and business management professionals in all industries that advocate training and workforce development as a business tool. Training also produces world-class conferences, expositions, and digital products that focus on job-related, employer-sponsored training and education in the working world. Training is published by Lakewood Media Group.

2017 Training Top 125 Winners

1              Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

2              New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

3              Leading Real Estate Companies of the World

4              BNSF Railway

5              Sonic Automotive, Inc.

6              Best Buy

7              Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

8              Dollar General Corporation

9              Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

10            Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

11            WellSpan Health

12            Tata Consultancy Services

13            ABF Freight

14            Pacific Gas & Electric Company

15            Ascend Federal Credit Union

16            MasTec – Utility Services Group

17            Western Union Company

18            OptumRx

19            ESL Federal Credit Union

20            Paychex, Inc.

21            Birmingham Water Works Board

22            First Horizon National Corporation

23            Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies for Johnson & Johnson

24            Gables Residential

25            ADP, LLC

26            DPR Construction

27            New York Life Insurance Company

28            Buckman Laboratories International, Inc.

29            Edward Jones

30            Northwestern Mutual

31            DaVita, Inc.

32            Genentech, Inc.

33            Aon plc

34            Haskell

35            Anthem Inc.

36            Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

37            Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.


39            Gilbane Building Company

40            Crown Resorts Australia

41            Iron Mountain

42            PPD

43            Vistage Worldwide

44            United Shore Financial Services

45            Valvoline Instant Oil Change

46            SinglePoint Inc.

47            Carilion Clinic

48            Hagerty Insurance

49            Vi

50            Miami Children’s Health System

51            Mastercard

52            Enterprise Holdings

53            SpawGlass

54            Aetna Inc.

55            Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina

56            FORUM Credit Union

57            G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc.

58            One Nevada Credit Union

59            Ricoh USA, Inc.

60            VSP Global

61            BKD, LLP

62            General Motors Sales, Service & Marketing Division

63            Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

64            CarMax, Inc.

65            Navient

66            Mohawk Industries, Inc.

67            Bass & Associates, P.C.

68            TD

69            Avanade, Inc.

70            BB&T Corporation

71            Tandus Centiva, A Tarkett Company

72            Florida Blue

73            Afni

74            Bankers Life

75            Shaw Industries, Inc.

76            Paycor

77            United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

78            TIAA

79            Quicken Loans, Inc.

80            AT&T Inc.

81            U.S. Security Associates, Inc.

82            MTM, Inc.

83            ConServe

84            Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

85            AMN Healthcare

86            CVS Health

87            Dominion Enterprises

88            University of New Mexico Hospitals

89            Norton Healthcare

90            Penn Station, Inc.

91            Choice Hotels International

92            Cartus

93            Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

94            Empire Wealth Strategies

95            Navy Federal Credit Union

96            BayCare Health System

97            Bright Horizons Family Solutions

98            Eaton

99            Bell and Howell

100          Special Response Corporation

101          Specialist Staffing Group

102          Mariner Finance, LLC

103          Rent-A-Center

104          La Quinta Holdings Inc.

105          Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

106          Van Meter, Inc.

107          Microchip Technology Inc.

108          Sitel

109          National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited

110          Holman Automotive Group, Inc.

111          Health Decisions, CRO+

112          Red Roof Inn Inc.

113          U.S. Postal Service

114          Signature Consultants

115          American Fidelity

116          Miami Cerebral Palsy Residential Services, Inc.

117          NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation

118          PPL Electric Utilities

119          Total Quality Logistics

120          Scottrade Inc.

121          Guckenheimer

122          NIIT

123          Workiva Inc.

124          The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

125          Persistent Systems Ltd


Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.