A Turning Point in Our History

Nov 1st, 2004 @ 3:36 pm | Author:
During his research on where to locate his development center, Ken Behrendt, the CEO of Eagle Creek Software, remarked often that he was amazed that Valley City had all the right answers. It took him awhile to realize that the community and university have been preparing for him for a decade – we just didn’t know his name. That is, Eagle Creek Software’s development center is a "cornerstone" business that can capitalize on all the campus-community initiatives of recent years.

Understanding that higher education is an engine for economic growth when connected with strong government and economic leadership, the Valley Development Group built the Regional Technology Center to foster such growth. Behrendt emphasized repeatedly that the integrated vision of all the partners was a big strategic advantage.

Behrendt’s decision is also the strongest possible affirmation of the quality of education that Valley City State University provides. Early on, Ken wanted to meet VCSU faculty and students. In no small measure, the company is locating here because he believes our faculty and students deliver exactly what he needs for his business success.

To support the business, Valley City State University offers:

Source of Potential Employees: The VCSU Division of Business and Information Technology offers coursework in computer programming in C++ and SQL database management concepts.

Customized Curriculum: 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. 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.

Recruiting of Additional Employees: 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.

Some of the benefits to the university are:

Career and Curriculum Expansion: Students will be able to prepare for careers in the software development industry, and they will graduate with significant work experience. Their employment options include Eagle Creek and a host of other firms throughout the country.

Economic Incentives for Students to Enroll: The Valley Development Group and the state of North Dakota are funding loan forgiveness options for students in this program. In addition, students will be paid for their internships, so they will earn both cash and academic credits for their entire senior year.

High Quality New Students: The rigor of the curriculum calls for able students and its opportunities attract them. The goal is at least 20 new students annually, for a long-term impact of at least 80 students.

Engagement with the Entire University: Eagle Creek is looking not only for technical abilities, but also knowledge and skills in communication, problem-solving, interpersonal relations, and more, all of which depend on quality in the entire university curriculum.

Strong Launch for the University’s New Business Institute: The package includes a $50,000 donation in the name of Eagle Creek Software to establish a Business Institute at Valley City State University. The institute will develop within a new Center for Customized Learning for rapid, targeted responsiveness to the learning needs of regional business and industry.

Together, we will continue to fulfill the university’s vision to attract and retain talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation in the Sheyenne River Valley.