Oct 29th, 2004 @ 3:30 pm | Author:
VCSU Plays Critical Role Attracting Software Company
Valley City State University (VCSU) today announced that it played a key role in attracting Eagle Creek Software Services, a national software services provider exclusively dedicated to the CRM industry, to establish a technology and customer service center in Valley City, North Dakota. The center is expected to house approximately 20 employees immediately when it opens in November, 2004, and is expected to grow to house approximately 100 employees by the end of 2006. The role VCSU played in this decision reflects its position of serving as an engine of economic growth for the region.

The announcement was made in a press conference that included (from left) Congressman Earl Pomeroy, VCSU President Dr. Ellen Chaffee, Eagle Creek President Ken Behrendt, Director of Development for the Valley City-Barnes County Development Corporation Jennifer Feist, and North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.

Eagle Creek President Ken Behrendt said, "We looked at many locations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. We selected Valley City because the collective community clearly demonstrated the greatest understanding of our needs while having the capabilities to meet these same needs far into the future. We are confident this center will become a strategic resource helping Eagle Creek meet its goals and solidify its position as the premier provider of CRM services offering the strongest value proposition for its customers."

According to Gov. Hoeven, the state is working to build the best business climate in the country to attract premiere companies like Eagle Creek. "Eagle Creek’s announcement today clearly demonstrates the results we are seeing when we build the right business climate and bring the right partners together. We are creating more high-paying jobs and companies are capitalizing on our exceptional workforce. We look forward to the internships and career opportunities Eagle Creek offers for our VCSU and University System graduates."

United States companies are outsourcing jobs overseas in search of more competitive business climates. "This announcement capitalizes on the strength of North Dakota as a 'near shore' solution for Eagle Creek and other software service companies who are being exposed to our state’s positive business climate," said Congressman Earl Pomeroy. "This announcement is great news for my hometown of Valley City. Eagle Creek is making a significant investment in our community, which is proof positive that our state is a great place to do business."

Dr. Ellen Chaffee, President of VCSU, said, "This agreement is an outstanding example of the great things that happen when business, government and the educational system cooperate. We are pleased to be working with Eagle Creek and look forward to being an integral part of their success."

Jennifer Feist, Director of Development for the Valley City-Barnes County Development Corporation, said, "Eagle Creek is a perfect match for the community. This move creates quality jobs, utilizes the technology background offered by our graduates/citizens, and keeps people here. We are committed to working with Eagle Creek to ensure their success and growth in the region."

VCSU played several roles in the process, and was a key enabler of the decision. The curriculum at VCSU includes a strong focus on application of technology for communication, collaboration, and problem solving. The VCSU Division of Business and Information Technology offers coursework in computer programming in C++ and SQL database management concepts, making VCSU an excellent source of potential employees for Eagle Creek. The University also agreed to add coursework specifically tailored to meet the needs of Eagle Creek: management of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems from Siebel Software, Inc., a key business partner of Eagle Creek. Students in the Eagle Creek track will also gain valuable work experience through a two-semester internship at the company for both pay and academic credit. In addition, VCSU agreed to develop and execute a recruiting plan to establish the initial base of employees and provide a flow of prospective employees for the future.

The package also includes a $50,000 donation in the name of Eagle Creek Software for VCSU to establish a Business Institute. The institute will develop within a new Center for Customized Learning for rapid, targeted responsiveness to the learning needs of regional business and industry.

VCSU is an active partner in the Roundtable on Higher Education and the Valley Development Group Roundtable -- collaborations of business, government and the educational system designed to leverage higher education as an economic engine. The role VCSU played in recruiting Eagle Creek is an example of the results these collaborations can produce.

The agreement calls for Eagle Creek to become a tenant of the Valley City Regional Technology Center, a 20,000 square foot facility owned and operated by the Valley City - Barnes County Development Corporation. The center is a state-of-the-art business facility that incorporates an advanced communications infrastructure with special business amenities and features.

About Valley City State University

Valley City State University (VCSU) is a four-year undergraduate university that prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.