By Travis Gulbrandson
Groundbreaking is getting closer for the Eagle Creek Software Services headquarters to be built in Vermillion.
“Everything’s in place,” said Steve Howe, executive director of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce & Development Company (VCDC), during a special meeting with the Vermillion City Council Monday afternoon.
The facility promises to bring 200 new jobs to Vermillion following its completion.
Howe estimates an opening date at the end of April or the beginning of May.
“We’ve got the lease signed, we just got the appraisal back on the property, and we’re able to sign a contract with the people to do the dirt work,” he said. “Right now it’s in their hands. …
“They’re getting ready any day now to start turning dirt on that property. You’re going to start seeing some activity going,” he said.
Eagle Creek provides consulting and technical expertise, focusing on customer relationship management, information management and applications development.
The company’s mission is to help its clients increase quality and efficiencies while managing price and risk in software development, deployment and support.
Eagle Creek Software Services, with headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN, was founded in 1999. The company has project centers in Valley City, ND, and Pierre.
Howe said the formal groundbreaking ceremony will take place in the coming weeks.
The Eagle Creek site is located at the southwest corner of Princeton and Bower streets, north of the old Pamida building.
“(The facility) is 100 percent designed, and we actually opened bids on Thursday (July 11),” Howe said. “The bids have been out, and now it’s just going to do contracts for the individual bid pieces at this point.”
Seventeen different bid packets were put out, which covers the various materials the facility requires.
Howe said the VCDC made sure there were multiple bidders for each component.
“We made sure that every local provider that could provide services was invited, and they let us know whether they could do it or not,” he said. “Local bidders were given a 3 percent … bonus. Basically, we just made sure that if there’s a tie (between bidders) it went to the local provider.”
The jobs Eagle Creek brings to Vermillion will boast pay higher than the state’s average wages, and the supply of employees will come from USD and its recently formed Information Technology Consultant Academy.
Howe said there are approximately 19 employees currently working out of the business school, and that another training class is set to begin in September.
Howe added that he has spoken to an employment recruiter for Eagle Creek, who told him there is a lot of interest in the new facility.
“He said that he’s having far (better) luck recruiting people to Vermilion than Pierre or Valley City,” Howe said. “He said it’s like night and day, getting interest. So, that’s good news.”
– David Lias contributed to this report.