Eagle Creek Software Services, an information technology services firm, will build a $10 million information technology center in Vermillion, South Dakota, with plans to create 200 jobs during the next five years. In addition, the firm will partner with the state and University of South Dakota to train future IT professionals at a newly launched Information Technology Consultant Academy, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs in the region.
"Foreign, or offshore, IT solutions are not adequately filling the needs of the U.S. market," said Ken Behrendt, president of Eagle Creek Software Services. "Technical skills are only one piece of core IT competencies. Today's IT reality requires an understanding of U.S. business practices, communications skills beyond technology and a focus on time-to-market. By better educating our workforce, Eagle Creek Software Services can create a more sustainable and scalable IT solution while growing jobs in America."
Through a partnership with the Board of Regents and University of South Dakota, the newly launched Information Technology Consultant Academy will provide eligible students with a scholarship and a strategic career track to employment as an IT consultant. USD students have two scholarship options: a certificate program for undergraduates and a master's program. The South Dakota Board of Regents plans to approve the certificate program at its April Board meeting and discussions between Eagle Creek and the Board of Regents continue about a customized master's degree.
"The challenges of today's job market call for new skills and approaches," said James W. Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota. "Our mission as a university should be to prepare students to succeed in an increasingly high-tech workforce. We applaud and are proud to partner with Eagle Creek on this innovative project. The Information Technology Consultant Academy will put students on a career path for success." The IT Consultant Academy at USD will create a well-trained local workforce in South Dakota who can take advantage of high paying jobs. The Academy will take its first full class this fall and the new technology center in Vermillion will be open in 2014.
"This is a great day for South Dakota and the resurgent technology business in America," said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. "With a $10 million investment in the Vermillion community and new career path for University of South Dakota students, we are on track to create meaningful jobs that will benefit the community and make South Dakota more globally competitive in the information technology sector."
The city of Vermillion proved to be an ideal location for Eagle Creek's South Dakota expansion. "Vermillion is already known as a destination for world class higher education," said Steve Howe of the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company. "This announcement further positions our city as a leader in technology and a global force in the IT industry. Vermillion is proud to be on the forefront of South Dakota's technology surge."