Gateway: South Dakota Paradise

Like your job? Here's your chance to compare your company with eight of the best—at least in how they treat their Microsoft Certified Professionals.

When you think of South Dakota, what comes to mind? Plains stretching as far as you can see? The carved faces of Presidents at Mount Rushmore? Well, to these images add a high-tech center. Visit North Sioux City in the state’s southeast corner and you’ll find world-class PC manufacturer Gateway, Inc. And, says Jim Roscovius, MCSE and network administrator within Gateway’s 170-employee Product Development Services department, there’s no place he’d rather work.

This Year’s Best Companies!
Gateway, Inc. Worldwide PC manufacturer
Nominated: Product Development Services department in North Sioux Sioux City, South Dakota; 170 employees

“Gateway respects what I bring to the company as an MCSE. My director trusts my judgment, and goes with what I recommend in terms of new hardware and software. Plus, Gateway pays the costs [of] earning your Microsoft certification-classes, travel, exams—and during annual reviews, holding the MCSE certainly plays a positive role in determining raises and promotions.”

Roscovius manages the 50-workstation network serving Product Development Services’ Human Factors and Information Solutions groups, which, among other tasks, conduct computer usability studies and produce PC user manuals. Roscovius handles all network troubleshooting and maintenance, with four network servers running Windows NT and another two already running Win2K. Within the Human Factors/Information Solutions areas, Roscovius is currently the only MCSE. In Product Development Services overall, however, approximately 10 other individuals are now working toward their MCSE or upgrading their Microsoft certifications to Win2K.

According to Kori Vanderloo, Gateway Consumer Products program manager, Roscovius’ MCSE title affords her and her colleagues a sense of security. “We know Jim has taken the time to go through the training and earn that certification. He knows what he’s talking about, and his expertise helps us all work more efficiently.”

Roscovius notes that since he joined Gateway in 1998, several companies have tried to lure him away with lucrative job offers. But he’s staying put. It’s not just a matter of a little more money, he says. Gateway’s perks are just too good. For example, in return for promising to remain with Gateway for a set time, usually two to three years, an employee gets a free PC for personal use. In addition, Gateway employees enjoy stock option and stock purchase plans, profit sharing, generous amounts of paid time off, and no formal dress code (shorts and T-shirts in summer). Then, as far as Roscovius is concerned, there’s the clincher: Gateway is family-friendly to the extreme. The company offers excellent family health coverage, and allows employees the flexibility to deal with family emergencies as well as planned events.

“If one of my kids gets sick, I can take off from work to take care of that,” says Roscovius. “It’s not a problem. The same with school events such as plays-Gateway is good about allowing you the time to attend. As far as I know, there just aren’t that many IT positions offering this kind of flexibility. I’m not planning on going anywhere.”

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