Midco believes in community involvement
Thanks to Pat McAdaragh, CEO and President of Midco, for sharing his thoughts on the role of telecommunications in economic development. They recently donated $10,000 to North Dakota Dollars for Scholars to fund technology industry-related scholarships.
Provide a brief history and overview of Midco?
Midco started as a movie theatre company back in 1931 and evolved over time as owners of radio stations, broadcast television stations, cable television and today the region’s leading cable, phone and internet provider for residential and business customers. We also launched Midco Sports Network in 2010, bringing local broadcasts of the region’s premiere sporting events including the Summit League Tournament, college and high school games and original programming.
Please share your perspective on the importance of community involvement?
Community involvement has been a part of our core from the start. We encourage our employees to be involved in nonprofits as well as local chambers of commerce and community foundation efforts. We sponsor events and initiatives throughout our footprint and have given away close to $5 million through the Midco Foundation. Strong communities mean better places for our customers and employees to live, work and thrive.
What are the major changes you predict in the telecommunications industries in the next five years?
Internet demand continues to grow exponentially, year after year, so companies like Midco need to continue to invest in our network and be on the forefront of new technologies to meet those demands. As we all become more dependent on “the internet of things,” security and reliability will become even more important. And, we’ll want these “things” to be able to interact in a seamless way for a better experience – all riding the most reliable network.
Do you feel North Dakota businesses are taking full advantage of the telecommunications capabilities available to them? If yes, how are you seeing them do that? If no, what could they be doing differently?
As a provider, of course we feel that anyone not using Midco is settling for something less! That said, North Dakota is very active in technology space and because of that, we chose Fargo to be the first city to launch our Gigabit service. There are many organizations and events in North Dakota driving new technologies – and those technologies are dependent on a great telecommunications pipeline. Midco has been consistently listed among the top of the ISPs (internet service providers) in the country, so North Dakotans have a great network readily available.
What are the workforce needs of the telecommunications industry? Are there specific skill sets in great need?
Workforce demands are a high priority for Midco and we have a robust internship program that helps us fill that pipeline. Our greatest needs are employees with technical training and abilities at all levels – Field Technicians to Engineers, IT Developers to Programmers, Customer Technical Support to Network Support. In addition, of course, we need people at each level that are great communicators and collaborators who put the customer first.
If someone is interested in working in telecommunications, what type of education do you recommend?
Telecommunications is a broad and evolving field used by many industries so there are several options; from cybersecurity, to web design, to network engineering to server administration. I’d say the best option is to talk to a guidance counselor or someone in the industry then find an area of study that appeals to an individual’s abilities and desires, and one that anticipates future opportunities.
What would you say is the single most influential factor in your business success?
The desire to put the customer first and not settle for being less than the best. our customers have many options for providers and we want to be the company that they want to work with – not the company they have to work with. Because of that, we are constantly evolving and improving on not only the technologies we provide but also how we serve our customers.
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