Kudos for 2 Local Firms

America Online Inc. and Tellabs Inc., both major employers in Loudoun County, were named to Fortune magazine's list of the 100 best companies to work for in the United States. America Online is based in Dulles; Tellabs is based in Lisle, Ill., with a division in Ashburn.

The list, the details of which can be found on the Fortune Web site at www.fortune.com, was pared down from an initial list of 236 companies, based on surveys completed by 33,000 randomly selected employees. The winners were selected based on the surveys and material submitted by the companies.

The employee surveys were created by the Great Place to Work Institute, of San Francisco. Most of the companies chosen have programs that help employees balance work and personal life, including flexible work hours, on-site day care and continuing education.

Tellabs's Ashburn division, formerly Coherent Communications, develops products that reduce background noise and enhance voice quality during telephone and cellular calls. It employs about 150 people in Loudoun County. Tellabs employs more than 6,000 people worldwide and had revenues of about $1.7 billion in 1998.

Internet service provider America Online employs more than 13,000 people--about 3,000 of them in the Washington area, including 1,650 in Loudoun County. It had revenues of $3.8 billion in 1998.

Workshop on Start-Ups

The Loudoun County Small Business Development Center will hold a start-up workshop from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Loudoun County Senior Center in Cascades Marketplace.

Heidi Sheppard, executive director for the center, will discuss the steps for starting a company and will address such issues as taxes, licensing, business plan development and sources of financing.

The center will hold a workshop about deciding how to register a business from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 19, also at the senior center. Tax attorney Keith Troxell will discuss business planning, taxes and succession planning, as well as the various types of business organizations, such as sole proprietorships, corporations and limited liability companies.

To register for either program, call the center at 703-430-7222.

Please fax items for Thursday's business page to Sarah Schafer at 703-777-8437, or send them by mail to 305 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175, or by e-mail to schafers@washpost.com.