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Some of the best to work for are here

Dispatch/Argus Photo By Gary Krambeck

Eleven Quad-Cities employers made it onto this year's list of 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. Employees at the Deloitte & Touche Accounting and Professional Services firm in Davenport include from left: Susan Pohlmann, tax manager; Karen VanDeWostine, tax manager; and Vivienne Allchin, administrator.

Eleven employers with local connections made it onto this year's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, printed in the January issue of Fortune Magazine. They are:

-- Deloitte & Touche: Based in Wilton, Conn., this international accounting and professional services firm was started in 1977. The Davenport office employs 70 workers. Fortune praises the company for an initiative to attract and retain women employees and family-friendly work schedules. Ranked No. 14.

-- Federal Express: Based in Memphis, Tenn., this overnight-package delivery company has a distribution center on 41st Street Court in Moline, where 80 workers sort, pick up and deliver packages within a 70-mile radius of the Quad-Cities. No-layoff policy, good profit sharing plan and hefty 10 percent salary bonuses after the UPS strike helped make it No. 18.

-- Marriott International: Based in Bethesda, Md. this hospitality conglomerate operates a Courtyard by Marriott in Bettendorf, employing 32 people. A corporate division, Marriott Management Services, also runs parts of food service operations at John Deere Harvester Works and St. Ambrose University, with close to 180 employees. Also operates Fairfield motels on both sides of the river. Impressed Fortune by rising to the top of the hospitality industry without operating a casino. Ranked No. 27.

-- Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M): Headquartered in St. Paul, 3M and 420 employees operate a manufacturing plant in Cordova, making adhesives and resin compounds that are shipped to other plants which use them to finish products. Fortune says all technical employees are encouraged to devote 15-percent of their time to personal projects. Ranked No. 35.

-- A.G. Edwards: The St. Louis-based financial services firm operates two area offices, in Davenport and Geneseo, with 21 and 4 employees respectively. Retirement and profit-sharing package are called best in the industry. Ranked No. 57.

-- Xerox: The office machinery giant based in Stamford, Conn. has a Davenport sales and service hub employing about 40 people. Praised for great benefits package, including $10,000 per employee (lifetime) to use for anything from a house down payment to college tuition. Good minority representation among workers. Ranked No. 59.

-- Hallmark Cards: Kansas City-based greeting card and gift company has two full-time sales representatives in Davenport, who provide products to Hallamrk stores and other area retailers. (Local Hallmark stores are independantly owned and operated.) Among many good features are zero-premium health insurance, and six-months family leave for new mothers or adoptive parents. Ranked No. 61.

-- Lowe's Cos.: Headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N. C., Lowe's operates home improvement centers in Davenport and Moline, with 230 full-time employees and many part-time employees. The company has been hiring at a rapid pace. A spokeswoman says Lowe's has increased its employee base by 50 percent in Illinois over the last two years. All workers are stockholders. Comes in at No. 80.

-- Mary Kay Cosmetics: Based out of Dallas, this direct sales cosmetics retailer estimates it has 200 active independent representatives in the Quad-Cities. Fortune cites good profit-sharing plan, and that famous pink car reward for top sales reps and managers. Ranked No. 82.

-- Deere & Co.: With headquarters in Moline, the farm implement giant employs 7,800 locals in area manufacturing plants and at company headquarters. Praised for no-layoff policy, good pay and benefits, and 100-percent tuition reimbursement for work-related classes. Ranked No. 84.

-- Merrill Lynch: Based in New York City, this financial services company has a Moline office employing 20 people who specialize in financial planning. Fortune praises training programs and good tuition reimbursement. Ranked No. 98.

Fortune Magazine based these rankings on employee surveys, corporate surveys and a review of each company's benefit offerings. To be eligible, companies had to be at least 10 years old and have at least 500 employees.

-- By Marcy Norton (February 9, 1998)

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