Training magazine Ranks 2020 Training Top 125 Organizations

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


Lorri Freifeld


Training magazine

Excelsior, MN (February 25, 2020)—2020 marks the 20th year Training magazine has recognized organizations that provide best-in-class employee training and development. This year, retailer Dollar General Corporation, LLC, racked up its second consecutive #1 win, followed by MasTec Utility Services (#2), Best Buy (#3), BNSF Railway Company (#4), and United Shore (#5).

Some 31 new companies broke into the Top 125 this year. The majority of the companies are in the finance/banking, health/medical services, business services, and retail industries.

Training magazine recognized the 2020 Training Top 125 winners with crystal awards and revealed their rankings during the Training Top 125 Reflections Gala held last night during the Training 2020 Conference & Expo at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL. The black-tie gala was sponsored by Adobe, Brainier, Brella, Seiko, and the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame. Adobe gave away an iPad. Brainier did a gift card giveaway. Brella spearheaded the event production. And Seiko served as the official timekeeper of the event and provided keepsake watches and a commemorative clock for the No. 1 winner.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World was inducted into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame after earning a Top 10 ranking for four consecutive years. The Hall of Fame now numbers 17 companies.

The Training Top 125 is the only awards program that ranks companies unsurpassed in harnessing human capital. Some overall statistics from the quantitative analysis of the winning 2020 Training Top 125 applications include:

  • The mean revenue was $7.8 billion U.S. and $12.9 billion worldwide. The mean training budget was $74 million, representing 5.96 percent of payroll.
  • The mean number of total employees trained per organization (including independent contractors and franchisees) was 40,008, with 20,745 trained in the classroom and 51,571 trained online. A mean of 409 courses were offered as instructor-led sessions; 19,399 were offered as online self-paced modules; and 195 were offered as virtual instructor-led classrooms. All but two of the 2020 Training Top 125ers have a technology infrastructure.
  • The average number of full-time and part-time trainers was 145 and 191, 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 $199,277.
  • Some 99 percent of winners use employee satisfaction surveys, while 95 percent use competency maps. Some 69 percent tie managers’ compensation directly to the development of their direct reports. 
  • On the evaluation side, 89 percent of applicants utilize Return on Value; 86 percent utilize Return on Investment; 78 percent utilize Balanced Scorecards; and 66 percent utilize Six Sigma. The Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation are more widely used: Level 1 (98 percent), Levels 2 and 3 (96 percent), and Level 4 (94 percent).

Yesterday afternoon, Training recognized innovative and successful learning and development programs and practices utilized by some of 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):


  • Avanade Inc.
  • BNSF Railway Company
  • Haskell
  • Sovos
  • Spectrum Health


  • AstraZeneca China
  • Dollar General Corporation, LLC
  • Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
  • Sonic Automotive
  • Walden Security

“The presence of these luminaries on the 2020 Training Top 125 reflects their relentless dedication to employee learning and development, their remarkable achievements, their creative spark, and their constant reinforcement that Training Matters in their organization every single day,” said Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief of Training magazine. “We hope their 2020 training vision will continue for decades to come!”

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, how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives, and their effectiveness in terms of business impact.

Companies that wish to be considered for Top 125 ranking complete a detailed application, which is scored both quantitatively (73 points) by an outside research and statistical data company and qualitatively (52 points) by Trainingmagazine editors and Training 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, and details on the programs receiving Best Practice and Outstanding Training Initiative awards, see the March/April 2020 issue. The digital edition can be found online at

Click here to order a copy of the issue or Training Top 125 merchandise.

2020 Training Top 125 Winners

1          Dollar General Corporation, LLC

2          MasTec Utility Services

3          Best Buy

4          BNSF Railway Company

5          United Shore

6          Birmingham Water Works Board

7          Sonic Automotive

8          Rosendin

9          C&A Industries Inc.

10        Nationwide

11        Haskell

12        ArcBest

13        MTM, Inc.

14        Paychex, Inc.

15        WellSpan Health

16        FORUM Credit Union

17        ESL Federal Credit Union

18        Gables Residential

19        Applied Materials, Inc.

20        Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO)

21        Avanade Inc.

22        Valvoline Instant Oil Change

23        AstraZeneca China.

24        Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

25        Edward Jones

26        Gilbane Building Company

27        Visa Inc.

28        Ascend Federal Credit Union

29        AAA Northeast

30        Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies for Johnson & Johnson

31        Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

32        State Compensation Insurance Fund

33        The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

34        SE2, LLC

35        Paycor

36        CVS Health

37 Inc.

38        Mohawk Industries, Inc.

39        Argo Group

40        DISH Network

41        ConServe

42        Vi

43        Exchange Bank

44        Rollins, LLC

45        Dellbrook | JKS Construction

46        Walden Security

47        Signature Consultants

48        Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

49        PPD

50        Emser Tile, LLC

51        BB&T Corporation

52        BKD CPAs & Advisors

53        Windham Professionals Inc.

54        Walmart Inc

55        Bankers Life

56        Roscoe Property Management

57        CarMax, Inc.

58        Concentrix Corporation

59        Williams & Fudge, Inc.

60        Mastercard

61        DaVita

62        Mariner Finance LLC

63        Van Meter Inc.

64        Optum

65        Navient

66        Fisher Investments


68        England Logistics

69        Sovos

70        LifeNet Health

71        Bell and Howell

72        NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement

73        StorageMart

74        One Nevada Credit Union

75        Southern Management Corporation

76        Shaw Industries

77        Personnel Board of Jefferson County

78        University of New Mexico Hospitals

79        Navy Federal Credit Union

80        Persistent Systems Ltd

81        Bass & Associates, P.C.

82        FDIC Corporate University

83        JLL

84        PPL Electric Utilities

85        Hackensack Meridian Health

86        EPB

87        Penn Station East Coast Subs

88        Independence Blue Cross

89        G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc

90        VSP Global

91        Microchip Technology Inc

92        Sundt Construction

93        Michigan State University Federal Credit Union

94        Spectrum Health

95        Elevations Credit Union

96        Special Response Corporation

97        Western & Southern Financial Group

98        HD Supply Facilities Maintenance

99        HGS Inc.

100      Veeam

101      LaSalle Network

102      Tarkett North America – A Division of Tarkett

103      Compass One Healthcare

104      Southern California Edison

105      BNP Paribas

106      Pilot Company

107      AT&T Communications

108      Bright Horizons

109      New York Life

110      Huntington Learning Center

111      Kimball Midwest

112      Solstice

113      Huntington National Bank

114      Nebraska Medicine

115      PSA Airlines

116      VyStar Credit Union

117      Coast Professional, Inc.

118      Panda Restaurant Group

119      Hayes Locums

120      Summit Security Services

121      People’s Trust Insurance Co.

122      Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

123      PV Fluid Products Inc.

124      Best Western Hotels & Resorts (BWHR)

125      Valley Bank

About Training magazine

Training magazine is a 56-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.

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.