Entrepreneurship requires a healthy dose of optimism, but the national mood is grim. A vibrant start-up scene exists on the coasts, but hasn’t done enough to uplift the rest of the country.

Fueled by the hunch that our country’s talent is currently underutilized, our mission is to build a new American workplace. Technology and big data are often viewed as job-killers. We want to use them to enable remote work, more meritocratic hiring, better training, and stronger feedback loops for employees.

We have started with customer service and sales. It is incredibly difficult to recruit, train and develop customer-facing talent. As a result, leading organizations in major tech hubs see annual churn rates of up to 30% in these roles. We hire selectively for motivated, gifted communicators, and weaponize them with the training they’ll need to build lucrative, fulfilling careers in tech. By working with Bandalier, clients gain access to carefully selected and highly-trained customer experience or sales development representatives (their “farm system”, as we’re calling it).

Bandalier’s first talent center is in Binghamton, New York. Long ago, the area around Binghamton was a manufacturing hub and the home of multi-national firms like IBM. Folks called it “the Valley of Opportunity”. But in recent decades the area has fallen victim to the forces of globalization, and in the process Binghamton lost its economic lifeblood and nearly half of its peak population. We’ve set out to reverse the tide.

We are only a few months old, and we’re just getting started. As we embark on our journey, we’ll share some thoughts here.