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Two Western New York companies have been ranked in the Top 20 in Fortune Magazine's inaugural list of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America."

Moog Inc. of East Aurora ranked 13th and Rochester-based Wegmans Food Markets placed 16th on a list that will appear in the magazine's Jan. 12 issue.

Fortune's first-annual rating of companies from the employees' point of view was compiled through interviews with more than 20,000 randomly selected workers at scores of companies nationwide.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines tops the list, followed by Kingston Technology of Fountain Valley, Calif.; SAS Institute of Cary, N.C.; Fel-Pro of Skokie, Ill.; TD Industries of Dallas; MBNA of Wilmington, Del.; W.L. Gore of Newark, Del.; Microsoft of Redmond, Wash.; Merck of Whitehouse Station, N.J.; and Hewlett-Packard of Palo Alto, Cal.

Robert T. Brady, Moog chairman and chief executive officer, said it is "very gratifying" to have someone from outside the worldwide organization recognize the company's sense of community.

"Everyday this extraordinary group of people devotes their time and energy to build the best products of their type and to deliver those products to the most demanding aerospace and industrial companies in the world," Brady said. "Our philosophy that the best and most satisfying work is done in an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence has withstood the test of time and many challenges."

Robert Wegman, chairman of the family-owned Wegmans supermarket chain, also was pleased by the magazine's recognition and the views expressed by his company's workers about their employer.

"Nothing could mean more to me than having our people say that Wegmans is a great place to work. I've worked all my life to make that happen," Wegman said.

Corning-based Corning Inc. was the other regional corporation to make the Fortune list, ranked No. 15.

Erie Insurance of Erie, Pa., also made the list, coming in at No. 26.

Fortune collaborated with best-selling authors Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz to compile the list, using methodology similar to that used to in their series of books, "The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America."

To be eligible, a company had to be at least 10 years old and have a minimum of 500 employees.

From a data base of more than 1,000 companies meeting those criteria, 238 were selected, with 161 agreeing to participate. Each candidate company distributed surveys to 225 workers at random with the results scored on a 175-point scale.

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