Employers lure job seekers with benefits

Catherine Damron

From theme park admission discounts to cheap brand name clothing, companies are willing to give their employees more than a paycheck.

Dallas senior Lindsay Heinlein works at the Gap in Bowling Green. She said her job has several perks, including a 30 percent discount at every Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy store and outlet.

Heinlein said employees also get special prizes when they have new promotions.

“This holiday season our store had the most sales, and employees won $60 toward Ticketmaster (tickets),” she said. “I’m using mine to see Tori Amos, and I can’t wait!”

Myron Armour, a senior from Lake Village, Ark., has been working as a Disney representative on campus for three years.

Armour worked so many hours, he is eligible for retirement. Disney keeps him on payroll as long as he works 40 hours a year.

“I always have free admission into Disney World, and I get discounts at all Disney stores,” Armour said.

Many companies that will participate in this year’s Career Expo, like Wells Fargo Financial, LifeSkills, Rivendell Behavior Health Services and Finish Line, also offer several benefits.

Wells Fargo Financial, a sales and marketing company, is looking for motivated people and is willing to give the benefits necessary to snag them, said manager Vince Panzarella.

“Our employees receive salary with an added commission for going above and beyond the sales quota,” Panzarella said. “Most of our benefits are monetary. We also have an excellent health insurance policy. There is a younger culture here that makes the work place energetic and fun.”

LifeSkills, a behavioral health care center, provides workers with more than just health care. Employment manager Ron Morehead said employees also receive paid holidays, sick leave and vacation time.

“We also give longevity awards for people who have been here for five years and more,” Morehead said.

Mary Lowdermilk, Human Resources director at Rivendell Behavior Health Services said that, besides a comprehensive benefit package that includes medical, dental, vision and life insurance, Rivendell employees are offered and additional health benefit: a free gym membership from the City of Bowling Green’s Parks and Recreation department.

Employees with perfect attendance are also eligible to enter a quarterly drawing for various prizes, she said.

Robert Martin, the general sales manager at the Finish Line in Greenwood Mall, said his employees get pay raises for top sales and good performance.

“We give awards for everything. If you don’t get an award, then I’m not doing my job,” Martin said. “We dedicate ourselves to make people want to work harder.”

But these career benefits may be waning with a struggling economy. Philip Parker, a career counselor for the Career Services Center said many companies offer benefits, but most entry level positions only have limited benefits.

“In today’s less than robust economy, perks have diminished significantly, especially since the early 1990’s,” Parker said.

Reach Catherine Damron at [email protected]