WILKES-BARRE — When Frontier Communications relocated its downtown operation to Dallas in 2012, it retained its commitment to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Elena Kilpatrick, vice president and general manager of Frontier’s Pennsylvania operations, met with the Times Leader Opinion Board Monday and said community involvement will always be part of the company’s “local engagement model.”
Kilpatrick said Frontier donates to several local organizations and many of its 300 employees volunteer in their home communities.
“Frontier supports the community, whether it be with dollars or sweat equity,” Kilpatrick said. “If our business grows, so does our community.”
Another component of Frontier’s community support is through its participation in the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program where it awards scholarships for pre-K and K through 12 students. Frontier has provided some $300,000 through the program to support scholarships for private education and educational improvement initiatives approved by the state.
“The program has offered students the opportunity to participate in some very innovative educational experience,” Kilpatrick said.
She said the donated funds are given to enhance curriculum or academic programs offered by schools or other organizations in the state. The funds are also used for tuition assistance.
Kilpatrick talked about Frontier’s services offered nationwide, such as broadband, voice, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for residential customers, small businesses and home offices and advanced communications for medium and large businesses in 28 states.
According to the Frontier corporate website, the company employs approximately 17,000 employees in the United States.
At the Dallas location, Kilpatrick said employees perform several jobs: technicians, customer service, regional sales, engineering and corporate accounting services. She said the workforce at Dallas has grown in recent months by 10 percent. Of Frontier’s 500 employees in Pennsylvania, 300 work out of the Dallas location, she said.
Kilpatrick said with the recent trend toward “streaming” — a method of transmitting or receiving data (especially video and audio material) over a computer network — Frontier is crafting a product that would include packaging or “bundling” several services into one.
“We expect our TV product to be rolled out in Pennsylvania soon,” Kilpatrick said, but could not provide a timeline.
Kilpatrick said speed is a critical part of the decision-making process for customers. Frontier currently has an agreement with Dish Network for TV services.
“This is a very competitive business,” Kilpatrick said. “If all else is equal, we are the local company. Our employees are local people. That makes a difference.”
Kilpatrick said Northeastern Pennsylvania offers a high quality of life. She talked about the area’s easy access to major cities, its strong family values and its multi-generational population.
While Kilpatrick, who hails from Northern New Jersey, enjoys vacationing at the beach, she said she enjoys living in the region she has called home for 20 years.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.