When walking down West St. Germain Street in Downtown St. Cloud, you could easily miss the GeoComm headquarters if you weren’t looking closely for it. Housed in the historic Henrey’s Corner Drug Store, GeoComm provides modern Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions for 9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 environments.
Put simply, the company’s systems route emergency calls to the appropriate call center, plot the caller’s location on a dispatcher’s map, and guide emergency responders to the accident using mobile displays within police, fire and ambulance vehicles.
Numbers Don’t Lie:
- Founded in 1995
- GeoComm serves 800 emergency 9-1-1 call centers across the U.S.
- Helping to keep more than 84 million people safe
Branching into the industry:
Geography major Jessica Meyer, and Computer Science Majors Nadika Bandara and Casey Parsons, joined the GeoComm team this past summer as SciTech interns. Each of them received a uniquely tailored internship experience based on their interests in the industry and areas of study.
Having previously worked as a graduate assistant in St. Cloud State’s Geospatial Laboratory, Meyer worked on GeoComm’s GIS maintenance team. Bandara helped build internal software for routing 9-1-1 calls, while Parsons assisted the dispatch match team, mapping police calls and replacing the call log database.
“In this industry, it’s very difficult for developers to come in and get up to speed,” said Gina Cornelius, the software development manager at GeoComm. “It’s not something people are familiar with. There are a ton of acronyms and the GIS data is very different. It’s something we’re working with [St. Cloud State University] on, helping to bridge that gap and recommending certain entry level classes for software developers to take so they can start getting a little exposure. Lucky for us, we have a GIS department, so there’s always someone to answer questions.”
“I think everyone on the maintenance team has helped me at one time or another with something,” said Meyer.
“It was really easy to get along with everybody, and the team especially,” Bandara added. “My goal was to get as much experience as possible and learn as much as possible. And I’ve actually learned more here than I thought, so it met my expectations and went above them.”
“My takeaway is seeing some of the technologies that are talked about in the ‘real world’ and on the tech blogs and podcast I follow, and getting to work with them,” Parsons concluded. “It’s helped me find out which way I want to direct my career.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through August 2019.