Workforce West Virginia released its annual lists of largest employers earlier this month, and, as always, the lists provide a lot of food for thought.
The list ranking the 100 largest private employers gets the most attention. Walmart has been No. 1 every year since 1998, when the giant retailer shoved Weirton Steel Corp. out of the top spot. According to Walmart's website, the company has 12,420 employees in West Virginia.
Weirton Steel, now a part of ArcelorMittal, is No. 61 this year.
One can't help but notice that 18 hospital organizations are in the top 100.
West Virginia United Health System ranks No. 2. According to its website, this organization has more than 7,000 employees and includes West Virginia University Hospitals, City Hospital in Martinsburg, Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson and United Hospital Center in Clarksburg.
Charleston Area Medical Center ranks No. 3. According to its 2009 Community Benefit Report, CAMC has more than 6,500 employees and includes General Hospital, Memorial Hospital and Women and Children's Hospital.
Other large hospital organizations: St. Mary's Hospital in Huntington, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Wheeling Hospital.
The list also is peppered with organizations that provide human services. Examples: