Fiber brings Delta Dental to Bemidji and smile to 150 new jobs

The Bemidji Pioneer reports that Delta Dental is coming to Bemidji…

A regional nonprofit company has selected Bemidji for a new $12-to-$13 million development that will create up to 150 jobs.

Delta Dental of Minnesota announced Friday it will break ground in Bemidji for a new operations and technology center. According to a press release, the new center is expected to open by the end of 2019 and the completion will make Delta Dental one of the top 10 employers in the city.

Fiber was one of the reasons Delta went with Bemidji…

“They went through a broad process. For a time, the company was anonymous and did an assessment of several regional centers throughout Minnesota,” Hengel said. “Bemidji submitted a blind proposal because we didn’t know what the company was at the time. We shared what we believed to be our assets and what would matter to the company. It earned us a site visit and made them really consider Bemidji in a serious way.”

One of the reasons Hengel said Delta Dental was interested in the community was the fiber optic network in place by Paul Bunyan Communications. Others included access to a talent pool with educational resources and the combined focus on the future by business and community leadership.

I was lucky enough to spend time talking to folks in Bemidji about their broadband access for a report on the return on investment of broadband last year. One of the lessons was that a community generally sees a return on investment (in greater opportunity, cost savings and increased value in property) but the provider doesn’t always reap the benefits as quickly. Here’s an example of where Paul Bunyan has helped the community and itself by investing enough to catch a fish like Delta.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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