Centricity Credit Union - HERMANTOWN, Minn. - Centricity Credit Union will offer distance learning centers at each branch for the children of employees during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic. ”We believe we have come up with an innovative way to help our employees and their families deal with the uncertainties of schooling their children during the COVID -19 pandemic. We are now offering distance learning centers at each of our branch locations,” says Doug Ralston, CEO/President of Centricity Credit Union. “By offering this as an option, it will reduce the stress and the burden of employees having to juggle work and at home education. The distance learning centers are private areas set up at each location equipped with high speed internet access, general supplies, a healthy snack, and a tutor to help with school work. This unique, free employee benefit follows our internal culture of creating a genuine work-life balance for our employees. The distance learning program is offered on a needs basis, allowing the credit union to customize and make adjustments based its popularity.” At the beginning of this school year, Centricity has 10 students participating in distance learning at the credit union branches. If schools go into full distance learning, the number of students in branch will increase. Those parents, who have collectively worked at the credit union for years, are truly grateful for this opportunity. “My husband and I are very thankful and grateful for Doug and the management for doing the right thing for us employees. Providing a space at work for our kids to do their schoolwork for distance learning and allowing them to be with us during work is a big help for us working moms. I don’t have to worry about how to balance between work and home because I have that peace of mind to continue to give an exceptional service to our members”, says Bernadette, Member Service Representative. With employees’ children allowed to do their distance learning while their parents are working, Ralston also approved for Centricity to hire a tutor to assist children with homework one day a week at each branch location. Employees children are encouraged to come into branch with their parent but to still follow the same COVID-19 protocol that their parents are being asked to follow. Children will be asked to stay in a designated area at each branch to do their learning. “Many families struggled last Spring and the reality of families having to do distance learning again this Fall was putting a lot of stress on our employees and their households. Employees do have the option of taking advantage of the Expanded Family Medical Leave Act to stay home with their kids for up to 12 weeks if their kid’s school is closed due to COVID, but that leave is only partially paid. Partial pay is a great option for some, but many of our employees count on having 100% of their regular pay”, says Cyndy Carlson, Director of Human Resources and Training. “I sent out an exploratory email to find out who would be interested in taking advantage of bringing their kids with them to work and who would be interested in a tutor helping their kids and the response was nothing but positive. I am extremely proud to work for a company that is focused on being flexible to help their employees and families during challenging times.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, Centricity Credit Union made the health and safety of its employees and members a top priority. Adding to the uncertain times of how school can move forward this fall, the health and safety of the staff’s children was also added to the priority list. “I love working for Centricity Credit Union where the management cares about their employees and their families. It means so much to me that they are taking on responsibilities that are way above and beyond. I have never worked or heard of a company that does this. Centricity has proven to me in more ways than one that we are a family. I feel like I am part of the Centricity family and I matter." says Vicki, Relationship Specialist. Centricity Credit Union was founded in 1943 to serve members of the Duluth Homestead Association and patrons of the Hermantown Community Store in Hermantown, MN. Centricity continues to serve members who live, work, worship or attend school in Lake, Pine, Carlton, and St. Louis Counties in Minnesota and Douglas County in Wisconsin.