Grand Forks Economic Development Corporation Announces Business Development Success

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The statistics were part of the annual summary presented to the commissioners and the first one since 2019 due to complications related to COVID-19.

EDC President and CEO Keith Lund opened the door to the panel on significant investment in the region by a data processing company. The news that blockchain and artificial intelligence startup Core Scientific is investing $ 100 million in the Grand Forks community has headlined a synopsis. The update, which Lund likened to an informal conversation, also included business development news from more than two dozen companies that EDC helped get started in 2019 and 2020.

“We are still working on a few final points, but they made this announcement, so they will be working on the construction of this project later this year, with at least two buildings expected to be operational by the end of 2021. Lund spoke about the Core Scientific project.

Lund was followed by EDC Business Development Director Brandon Baumbach, who spoke about the various business development sectors and the financial instruments he and EDC in the Grand Forks region are using to grow the local economy.

“We mainly work with companies certified as ‘primary sector companies’ or categorized as such,” Baumbach said. “Let me remind you that this is primarily twofold: they add value to a process or product and basically sell them to other markets, which in turn will bring new wealth to our community.”

The total projected cost of EDC projects in 2019 and 2020 will exceed $ 61 million. During this time, 27 companies and 305 jobs were created. These new companies and jobs ranged across a variety of industries, from manufacturing, agriculture, high tech, and other industries. It also raised nearly $ 60 million in investment in the region through the creation of these companies, according to EDC data presented at the meeting.

Next up was EDC HR Manager Becka Kruger, who concluded her talk by providing an update on the Grand Forks internship program, which she said has sent more than 50 interns to several companies since it was founded in 2018. The Innovation Center pays half of the salary to local companies for organizing new internships.

UAS developer Nathan Iseminger, who worked at EDC for almost three months, then introduced himself and explained that his main job was to hire and grow the business. He concluded by adding that a new labor force survey had recently been completed. EDC has been completing annual labor force surveys since 2015, with the exception of 2020 due to complications from COVID-19, as the Department of Labor does not track the industry annually – instead preferring to update every 10 years.

“We kind of do it the old fashioned way, just picking up the phone and asking people, ‘How many full-time employees do you have? (What) is the average salary? “- said Iseminger.

According to Isseminger, the average salary of people working in the primary sector in the region is more than $ 63,000, up from $ 36,000 in 2010. 73.5% more.

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