IBM Kingston Cafeteria, 1972
IBM Kingston recruited locally for assembly line workers but recruited professionals locally, nationally and even internationally. In the late 1960s, IBM created a recruiting film about the attractions of Ulster County–“a beautiful place to live and a great place to work.”
IBM workers had an array of responsibilities and titles: programmer, engineer, technical writer, secretary, assembly worker, to name a few. While there were more men than women, many women had the opportunity to advance into managerial positions.
Especially through the mid-1980s, IBM was generous to its employees. Workers took advantage of professional development opportunities–some remember fondly the ten-week, all-expenses-paid Systems Research Institute in New York City. IBM also paid employees to pursue advanced degrees. IBM moved workers around the country but paid their moving expenses and the company helped take care of the sale of their houses.
IBMers were encouraged to join community non-profits and service squads and were given time off to fulfill their commitments. Some went into public service–two Kingston mayors were IBMers. The company generously supported local civic organizations and non-profits. At one point, IBM contributions accounted for 90% of the income of the United Way.