A Virginia-based health care management firm is opening a call center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., on the first floor of a building used by the Air Force’s Financial Services Center.
Advance Health is leasing the space through the enhanced use leasing program (EUL). Base officials worked through the governor’s office of economic development and the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority to court Advance Health, which was looking for a more central and western location for a call center, reported the Rapid City Journal.
“We have our first success with that program,” said Scott Landguth, director of the Ellsworth Development Authority.
The call center will employ about 17 people in July, with the workforce rising to 40 by the end of 2015, according to Advance Health. In three to five years, the company could employ up to 200 workers.
At a ceremony Tuesday, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) applauded the arrangement, saying it will provide good-paying jobs for western South Dakota, income to offset the base’s operating costs and an added reason to keep Ellsworth off a future BRAC list.
“It also makes it highly likely that we’ll be able to do this again. I’m hopeful that Advance Health will be the first of many enhanced use leases we can put into place at Ellsworth Air Force Base,” Daugaard said.
The space in the Financial Services Center building opened up after nearly 400 workers were let go in 2011. The remaining Financial Services Center employees work on the second floor.