• December 19, 2014

BCBSND to Bring Jobs to Downtown Wahpeton

WAHPETON, N.D.; December 19, 2014 -  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) has announced it will create new job growth with up to 25 new positions in 2015 and lease space for its Customer Contact Center in downtown Wahpeton. The BCBSND Customer Contact Center opened a new location in Wahpeton last spring and has been operating out of office space on the NDSCS campus. After finding success in expanding to the area, BCBSND has been looking to relocate to grow the business for the last eight months. The partnership with the college has already proven to increase career opportunities for NDSCS graduates and job seekers in the Wahpeton-Breckenridge area.

BCBSND will lease space at 403 Dakota Avenue known to locals as the "Opera House". A job incentive initiative to entice the location of the business in a downtown setting came from a recommendation of the Economic Development Commission to the Wahpeton City Council and formally approved last week. The resource for program is the local Sales Tax Fund. The incentive is specifically designed for the healthcare coverage company and is part of a revitalization and reinvestment of main street properties. "We absolutely need these kinds of jobs, said Alisa Mitskog, Chairman of the EDC. "The key to community sustainability is strong business retention and expansion efforts like this."

Economic Development Director Jane Priebe agrees and added, "Diversification helps all industry sectors survive the rough times and this project should help the economy." Workforce development and training comes at a cost and so a grant was approved to provide $1,000 per full-time job created up to a maximum of $75,000. The company is expected to reach a goal of 75 more employees in three years.

"BCBSND offers good full-time employment opportunities with competitive benefits," said Russ Boyle, director of the BCBSND Customer Contact Center. "We've seen great success since our expansion to the Wahpeton area and look forward to expanding our presence through collaborations with the EDC." Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey says that "BCBSND is a good fit for our community and their presence will provide jobs, increase traffic, and spur more development downtown."

BCBSND is expected to have a job fair early in 2015 and have 25 jobs filled by the end of the year.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND is a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. As North Dakota's largest provider of health care coverage, BCBSND is taking BOLD steps to collaborate with doctors, hospitals, clinics and members to ensure affordable access to quality health care in the state. To learn more about BCBSND, visit www.BCBSND.com.