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.
Year’s Best Companies!
Inc. Worldwide PC manufacturer
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
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.”