There are many great places to work in the metro, but the winner of our Young Professionals Best Place to Work award believes in not just investing in the young professionals in the workplace, but also creating a better way of life. In fact, at Gate City Bank, 65% of the full-time employees in the region are young professionals!
A strong culture and robust benefits package that includes a wellness program, health club credits, a work-life balance assistance program, paid maternity and paternity leaves, discounted personal loans and mortgages and more are just some of the ways Gate City Bank invests in its younger workforce. And it all starts at the top.
Chairman, President and CEO Steve Swiontek is the biggest advocate for culture at Gate City Bank. He encourages employees to be leaders and empowers them to make a difference in their communities.
Volunteerism is a part of this culture, and Gate City Bank encourages employees to volunteer on company time without a limit. In 2015, they volunteered over 11,700 hours, and philanthropic giving totaled $1.7 million for over 360 organizations.
Another way they give back is through their new BetterLife™ Student Loan program, which was launched in November 2015. This unique student loan program boasts no fees and a 1% APR. It is designed to help student loan monthly payments be more affordable so college graduates can purchase a home.
“By investing in college graduates, we are building our local economy and increasing home ownership,” explained Kevin Hanson, director of lending. “Our program is helping make the dream of owning a home a reality by breaking down barriers for college graduates who want to purchase a home.”
Shortly before, Gate City Bank also started My School Spirit Card program in which individuals can express their school spirit with their own My School Spirit ATM and Check Card. With every card ordered, Gate City Bank donates $5 to the designated school. Since it started, they have donated over $16,000.
Low turnover and employee longevity suggests that the workforce at Gate City Bank believes in the work the company does. Gate City Bank believes that an open environment is key to open communication. For instance, Swiontek often treats employees to lunch meetings to discuss their ideas, and the company works with employees on career development plans and advancement opportunities.
To give back and encourage creativity, they incorporate fun days into every week where employees can dress up with a theme, play games, hold potlucks and celebrate fun holidays.
They also make sure to shower employees with appreciation and celebrate their successes. After winning Prairie Business Magazine’s 50 Best Places to Work three years in a row, they celebrated with five days of fun that included lunch, treats, games and gifts. And after a successful year in 2015, all employees got an extra four days of PTO.
“It is our expectation that we provide the highest standard of service internally as we assist young professionals in showcasing their talents and empowering their skills,” said Amanda Torok, culture and engagement strategist.
Going forward, you can expect Gate City Bank to continue their mission of providing a welcoming atmosphere and a commitment to making the lives of customers and employees better by investing in them and their communities For a Better Way of Life®.
The Bank’s Beginnings
Gate City Bank started in 1923 with only eight employees in downtown Fargo. After 93 years of service, they continue to be a hometown bank with 36 locations, over 600 employees and $1.9 billion in assets.
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