R&P Oak Hill Development has found new owners: its employees.
The Buffalo construction company will transfer ownership to its full-time employees over the next 10 years, it said. The transition will take place through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, a type of profit sharing plan that pays workers with stock ownership, Employees will be awarded stock according to a performance-based formula. The company has 45 full-time employees.
The transition goes into effect Thursday.
Company owners said they are getting older and were looking for a succession plan that would benefit employees and keep the company strong. Partner Gary Bichler is 65, partner Chris Hogan is 59.
“We could stop taking on more work and close up shop, but that’s not fair to our younger workers,” Hogan said. “We could sell, but we’d be putting their fate into someone else’s hands.”
The ESOP would let them put employees’ fates into their own hands, he said. It would also give the partners plenty of time to ensure a seamless succession and incentivize worker performance.
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