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Opportunity Knocks in Ames, IA

Meet three businesses in Ames and the Heart of Iowa that value inclusion, work-life balance and professional development.

By Bill Lewis on May 11, 2023

Burke Corp. is based in Nevada, Iowa.
Burke Corp.

There’s an old saying that opportunity knocks just once, but that’s not true in the Ames MSA, where employers of all sizes are creating gateways to success for anyone making the transition from college to career or from one position to another.

Employers such as American Packaging Corp. (APC), Burke Corp. and Workiva offer diverse and inclusive workplaces that provide a healthy work-life balance and help team members succeed on the job and in life.

Here’s a look at how these three businesses in Ames and the surrounding communities are thriving.

Core Values and Great Benefits

APC’s core values include respect for employees and their families as well as for clients and the communities in which the company does business.

“At the heart of respect is the value and empowerment of all people. It’s about empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education and national origin,” says Teri Meadow, director of corporate marketing at APC.

APC was named a Best Workplace in the Americas by Printing Industries of America. Benefits include salaries above the industry standard, 11 paid holidays, tuition reimbursement for courses related to job skills and a retirement plan.

Why Do Business in Ames?

With a location in the heart of the Midwest along Interstate 35 about 40 minutes north of Des Moines, the Ames area boasts a healthy and diverse economy. It is the home of Iowa State University (ISU), the largest university in the state, and the 400-acre ISU Research Park. The local economy also includes agribusiness, life sciences, manufacturing and technology.

Work-Life Balance

Burke Corp. is a leading manufacturer of fully cooked meats, supplying products for the food service and prepared food industries.

Based in the city of Nevada, Burke Corp. provides competitive benefits including educational assistance programs, a fitness center and a 401(k) plan. The company fosters a healthy work-life balance with paid holidays and three weeks of vacation in the first year of employment.

Headquartered in Ames and with offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, Workiva offers a flexible work schedule, an inclusive workplace culture and benefits that promote health and wellness.

In 2022, Workiva was recognized as a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, the fourth consecutive year it received the recognition. The company was also named a Top 100 Internship Program by Yello and WayUp.

Workiva is based in Ames, Iowa

“Workiva nurtures a culture of innovation and connectivity. We’ve found new ways to connect and celebrate our successes – both virtually and in person – while navigating the changing landscape of the modern workplace,” says Workiva CEO Marty Vanderploeg.

“Being named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the fourth year in a row is a testament to the flexibility and hard work of our dedicated employees over this past year,” he says.

Workiva recognizes that success depends on talented and dedicated employees. The company fosters a culture of inclusion and belonging to create an environment where people bring their best self to work every day and aren’t afraid to ask questions, share ideas and challenge the status quo, says Lauren Covello, senior manager of external communications.

Creating Career Paths

APC attracts and grows talent through what it calls “Good Job, Great Life.”

“We conduct several touch points with our employees throughout their tenure with APC, ensuring we are developing, promoting and meeting the goals of their future. We want our employees to develop a career path, not just a job,” Meadow says.

APC has developed an Employee Profile Form that is intended to help employees reflect and answer questions about their career development goals and interests.

Several departments have defined career paths for employees to move through within their own departments or departments that have a transferable skill connection.

APC also supports an employee’s professional development through active participation in business and industry-related organizations, including industry certifications and credentials, trade organizations, industry conferences and educational events.

“At American Packaging, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a diversity-minded employer, we engage the best and brightest talent. We are excited to continue advancing and promoting diversity and inclusion at APC,” Meadow says.

“APC hires the top talent available in the industry and invests in them skills and capabilities, building a high-performance organization based in teamwork, inclusion, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation,” she says.

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