Ex-Venture workers stay on temporary basis

DuPONT – Venture Bank’s 240 workers were employed by a temporary agency after the bank was closed and they will continue to be employed by the temporary firm until they are hired or fired by the new owner, according to bank and FDIC officials.

Venture Bank was closed by state and federal regulators because of investment and loan losses and sold to First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of North Carolina on Sept. 11.

Officials with First Citizens Bank still are evaluating all bank positions, but they also are making job offers to some bank associates, spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said Thursday.

“Some of the (bank) positions will be absorbed by our company,” she said. It wasn’t clear Thursday whether there have been layoffs since Sept. 11 or whether layoffs still are planned.

“We’re still working to evaluate the positions,” Thompson emphasized. “Everything has gone smoothly from our standpoint and we’re pleased with the progress we’re making.”

FDIC spokeswoman Linda Beavers, who was at Venture Bank’s administrative headquarters in DuPont when the bank was closed this month, said Venture employees were hired by a temporary agency until First Citizens determines whom they are going to hire on a part-time or full-time basis.

The name of the temporary agency could not be determined Thursday, although the FDIC selects the agency through a bidding process, Beavers said. Once the employee is hired by First Citizens, they are released from temporary contract payroll, she said.

Meanwhile, First Citizens has started to make inroads into the Thurston County business community.

This week representatives of First Citizens, including former Venture Bank employee Joseph Beaulieu, attended a commercial real estate forum hosted by the Thurston County Economic Development Council.

Beaulieu, who is working for First Citizens and used to be vice president of marketing for Venture Bank, also is the EDC’s board president. Beaulieu acknowledged the recent change at Venture by telling the EDC audience that Venture officials tried to raise capital to keep the bank going, but in the end, the sale to First Citizens was “the best possible thing to have happened.”

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403