Arvig, the area's leading broadband provider, is looking to hire more than 160 employees this year in its construction division, IT and sales departments.

"We have projects planned throughout this year and beyond that require significant resources to complete and maintain so we can better serve our customers. Setting an aggressive hiring goal is essential to our success," said David Arvig, vice president and chief operating officer.

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In 2016, Arvig announced its 10-year plan to utilize the FCC's Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) Program and build out services to the most remote corners of its service area. Over the next 10 years, Arvig will expand and improve broadband service to more than 30,000 rural residents across Minnesota.

Last year, the company completed construction to bring high-speed service to rural parts of Ada, and this year plans to complete construction in rural parts of Pelican Rapids.

In addition to A-CAM, Arvig also applied for the state's Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant to bring fiber to approximately 600 more homes around the Pelican lakes area that aren't eligible for A-CAM funding.

"We're expanding our construction team, hiring general laborers, heavy equipment operators and fiber splicers so we can meet our deadlines," Arvig said. "It's more than just the front-end construction work, though, and more than just the A-CAM and state-funded projects. Arvig is committed to providing the best service to all customers throughout our entire service area. We need additional IT support to maintain our expanding network, and we're growing our sales team to ensure a return on our investments."

Established in 1950, Arvig has grown from a small, family-owned telephone company to one of the largest independent telecommunications providers in the nation.