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Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022: 4 standouts for early-career workers

AES takes top category honors.

Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022: 4 standouts for early-career workers
[Photo: iStock/Getty Images]

This story is part of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022. Explore the full list of companies that are leading incubators of internal innovation talent.

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These four companies have created a corporate infrastructure to provide innovation opportunities for employees just getting started in their careers.  

Winner

AES 

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Arlington, Virginia

The global electrical power company is investing in young professionals and students through its AES Energy Innovation Challenge, which launched in 2021. Recognizing the power that young people can harness to combat the climate crisis, the challenge promotes an exploration of new energy solutions and team building. The first year of the competition saw over 50 student applicants propose clean energy substitutes for retiring coal plants. The winning, all-female team was focused on offshore wind power to replace a coal plant in Virginia.

[Illustration: Rose Wong]
Finalists 

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Abbott 

Abbott Park, Illinois

One of the medical device company’s goals is to create ample opportunities for both its current and future employees: The company is offering more than 100,000 internships and STEM program spots for young people, with the goal of at least 50% of participants coming from underrepresented communities.

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Eastman

Kingsport, Tennessee

The chemical industry company’s remote location in Eastern Tennessee hasn’t stopped Eastman from recruiting diverse and qualified talent: Allowing for remote work has expanded accessibility for employees, along with concerted efforts to realize gender parity and more than double diverse hires by 2030.

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PMG

Fort Worth, Texas

The digital marketing company has partnered with a community college to create opportunities for 1,000 students interested in digital and tech careers, focusing on those who come from underrepresented backgrounds.

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