The mystery company seeking St. Paul subsidy: Comcast

In hindsight, it’s, perhaps, not too surprising that the “local company” that wants subsidies to add jobs in St. Paul is one of the largest corporations in the country.

Late last month, city and state officials were being closed-lipped about a firm seeking a forgivable $1 million loan to add jobs in the city. The company won’t pay the loan back if it creates 250 jobs paying at least $13 an hour.

It’s Comcast, according to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

A company news release today says it will add 400 jobs in the city.

The new jobs will include additional customer service representatives and managers in Comcast’s existing call center. To accommodate the growth, Comcast’s current 125,000 square-foot Twin Cities regional facility will add an additional 45,000 square-feet of lease space at its 10 River Plaza Park location. The construction will be completed by early 2016.

“Comcast’s decision to add 400 new jobs in St. Paul is tremendous news for Minnesota,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I congratulate Comcast for its success, and thank the company for its continued commitment to Minnesota.”

Comcast will begin filling open positions in early 2016 and throughout the year. With the addition of these new jobs, the company will employ more than 2,400 individuals across the Twin Cities. Comcast is committed to hiring military reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners for these new roles. Nationally, Comcast is committed to hiring 10,000 reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners by 2017 across all levels of the organization.

The news release, however, didn’t say anything about the subsidies.

A spokesman for the Department of Employment and Economic Development wouldn’t say whether the subsidy had been granted. That’s significant because the memo asking for the subsidy promised the company would be publicly identified before a decision is made on the subsidy.

Why the secrecy?

“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,” a Comcast spokesperson told the Business Journal.