ARYSE, a company that makes sports braces, was named the Best Place to Work in the small business category.

Three local companies have won Best Places to Work recognition for the first time.

ARYSE, a company that produces innovative sports braces, was named the Best Place to Work in the small business category covering companies with 10-50 employees.

Brester Construction won in the medium-sized business category of companies with 51-125 employees, and Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders County won in the large employer category.

All three were first-time winners in the seven-year-old contest.

Sponsored in Lincoln by Woods & Aitken LLP, the Lincoln Journal Star and the Lincoln Human Resources Management Association, the Best Places to Work awards come from research and employee surveys by Quantum Workplace of Omaha. The surveys especially reward employee engagement.

The winners, as well as four other top workplaces in each category, were honored Thursday at a luncheon at The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel.

In addition, two other businesses won awards.

Edward Jones received the “Sustained Excellence Award,” which is given to organizations that have won first place in the contest for five years. The company was named a Best Place to Work from 2014-2018.

The Community Impact Award, which honors companies that go above and beyond when it comes to volunteer work and charitable donations, was awarded to real estate data firm Zillow.

There also was a special award given out.

Gov. Pete Ricketts, along with Woods & Aitken presented Kolton Ryba, a junior at Lincoln Southeast High School, with an Honorary Community Impact award for embracing the spirit of making a difference and positive impact to those around him. Ryba received a $1,000 check to be used however he would like to continue his positive impacts on his community.

The Journal Star on Sunday will publish a supplement describing the competition and the finalists.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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