Twin Cities on the short list as possible location of military headquarters

The article doesn’t mention broadband – but I think it’s assumed. What it does mention is all of the things that the army is looking for in a location and most of them require broadband.

The Twin Cities is one of 15 locations on the shortlist. Reading about the opportunity is fun and reads like a nice how-to for high tech recruitment for a community of any size.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

The Army considers the new project a “major command” that will organize its modernization process. Although it will include fewer than 500 personnel, the headquarters will locate around what it believes is the country’s best blend of “academic and commercial institutions” to “harness” their talent.

The Army has told each of the 15 finalists that it is “looking for a location where this command’s headquarters can rapidly join an existing innovation ecosystem.”

And local leaders talk about the effort…

“It all starts with a grass-roots effort,” said Ray Goodwin, PaR’s vice president of sales and marketing. The Twin Cities already has “a really great high tech base,” Goodwin noted. But attracting new tech jobs or companies adds to the critical mass.

The article outlines the benefits…

The public-private partnerships and academic relationships the Army says it wants will profit existing businesses and universities, wherever the Futures Command goes, Andes said. But that is only the beginning. “If you look around the country [at government research headquarters], there are usually build-out clusters around them,” Andes said. “When you attract scientists and engineers, there are follow-on benefits. These people tend to start their own businesses.”

And outlines the benefits of the area …

The Twin Cities’ current supply and quality of scientists and engineers is critical. The Army says it will measure the quality and growth potential of local workforces in “nine occupations closely associated with technology innovation: biomedical engineer, chemical engineer, computer and hardware engineer, electrical engineer, materials engineer, materials scientist, mechanical engineer, software developer (applications), and software developer (systems software).” The military is also looking at existing networks that demonstrate industry and academic partnerships and government support for private innovation.

This is why a letter to an Undersecretary of the Army, led by Rep. Betty McCollum and signed by Minnesota’s entire federal delegation, focused on the state’s Fortune 500 companies. The letter also touted current government contractors such as 3M, Orbital ATK, Cray, General Dynamics, Honeywell and Cummins, and science and technology trendsetters such as Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Mayo Clinic and UnitedHealth Group.

“We have the R&D [research and development] and tech,” McCollum said. “UnitedHealth handles the military’s Tricare health insurance; 3M makes body armor. The next step forward is, how do we get on the cutting edge?”

The state university system’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is another measure the Army will judge.

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

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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