A Minnesota state agency said Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) quietly sought out $1.4 million in forgivable loans and grants before announcing Monday that it hired 400 call center employees in the Twin Cities area as part of its customer-service improvement push.
A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) told the Twin Cities Business Journal that Comcast sought $1 million in the form of a forgivable loan from the agency's investment fund.
DEED spokeswoman Madeline Koch also said that the agency is considering $400,000 in jobs skills partnership training grants for the MSO.
Comcast has been quiet in its pursuit of this money. The St. Paul Port Authority, which voted to apply for DEED funding on behalf of the cable company, didn't even know the employer in question was Comcast.
"St. Paul is competing with several other locations in several other states to convince the company to locate the jobs in St. Paul," Port Authority Chief Financial Officer Laurie Hansen said in a memo to board members. "Until a final location decision is made, the company would like to remain anonymous."
Comcast responded with this statement: "We wanted to be sure we were able to bring [the 400 jobs] to Minnesota before we shared our company name publicly. We did this because we did not want to disappoint our constituents here if we were unable to bring the jobs to the Twin Cities."
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