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MARCH 2004

For PDF version of this newsletter click here.


  • CA Company Announces Location in Langdon
  • Partners with Manufacturers
  • Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks Top Rankings
  • Hoeven Announces North Dakota Trade Office
  • APUC Commissioners Award $147,475
  • North Dakota HOME Program Ranks No. 1
  • ND Companies Invited to QVC Product Search
  • Alternative Tourism Conference Planned
  • North Dakota in the News

    CA Company Announces Location in Langdon

    A California company run by a North Dakota native will locate in Langdon. Datatic Technologies has developed software that allows businesses to make intelligent decisions based on patterns or trends in their data. Founded in 2000, Datatic is based in Palo Alto, Calif., and also has a software development team in Pune, India. CEO Rock Clapper, Ph.D., is from Carrington and began considering North Dakota locations for his company last fall. "I was reading the business section of the San Jose Mercury News and discovered a front-page article about Gov. Hoeven's interest in bringing Silicon Valley, high-tech companies to North Dakota," Clapper said. "The Department of Commerce staff invited me to a North Dakota business reception in San Jose in early November, and by December, I was visiting communities in North Dakota."

    "This project exemplifies the ability of our local leaders to pull together and present a compelling case for Datatic. In addition, we received considerable support from the North Dakota Department of Commerce..." said Carol Goodman, director of the Cavalier County Job Development Authority.

    Partners with Manufacturers

    Successful economic development rests primarily on three factors. First, existing businesses need the tools necessary to expand and prosper. Second, the entrepreneurial spirit must be encouraged and nourished, resulting in more successful start-ups. Third, new businesses must be identified, recruited and brought to North Dakota.

    Existing businesses are the bedrock for all economic development. They form the core of employment in North Dakota and sustain our communities. The North Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a public-private partnership with the federal government, state government and private business. Housed in the Department of Commerce, the North Dakota center is one of 60 in the nation and is ranked number one for impact on client's bottom line and customer satisfaction.

    Through this network, North Dakota manufacturers have access to over 2,000 practitioners providing technical and business assistance. For example I.R. Bobcat requested the assistance of MEP specialists to address the assembly time on its Model 400 and 500 skid steer loaders. The cycle time of one machine was taking 52 minutes, but needed to be reduced to 22 minutes to meet customer demand. After one week with ND MEP staff and I.R. Bobcat employees working together, the customer demand time was reduced to 17 minutes; floor space requirements were reduced by 22 percent; and productivity (hours per unit) was increased by 55 percent.

    The ND MEP has worked with over 200 North Dakota businesses and 3,500 employees. As a result of this program, businesses have increased or retained sales of $17.5 million; $5.2 million in new investments have been made; and nearly 100 jobs have been retained or created. It's programs like the ND MEP that support our commitment to improve the quality of life for the people of North Dakota. We believe that working together, we will succeed in making North Dakota a better place to live, work and be in business. For more information on the ND MEP, contact Sheila Link at 701-328-7259 or [email protected].

    Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks Top Rankings

    Sperling's BestPlaces ranks 331 metro areas with a new stress index, and Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks hold the #1, #2 and #10 spot for the least amount of stress in the small metro category, respectively. The "Sperling Stress Index" is comprised of nine different factors which are associated with stress: unemployment rate, divorce rate, commute time, violent and property crime rates, suicide rate, alcohol consumption, self-reported "poor mental health" and number of cloudy days. Among the low-stress cities, there appears a common theme of state capitals and institutions of higher learning. "Government and universities provide a solid economic base to smaller cities, lessening the stress caused by economic cycles," Sperling reported.

    Hoeven Announces North Dakota Trade Office

    Gov. John Hoeven announced the formation of the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) to increase exports of North Dakota products in international markets. The 2003 Legislature provided the framework for the North Dakota Department of Commerce to establish the NDTO through a private-sector, contractual agreement. The contract was awarded to Export ND, a private, nonprofit organization sponsored by the North Dakota District Export Council, whose purpose is to provide export-related services to exporters. A public-private partnership, The North Dakota Department of Commerce and Export ND recognized the synergy for the two groups to work together to raise export volume in North Dakota. The NDTO will receive a majority of its funding through Commerce's Economic Development and Finance (ED&F;) Division, as well as a portion from Export ND, and other private and public agencies.

    "We are pleased with the establishment of the North Dakota Trade Office," said Linda Butts, director of the Economic Development and Finance Division of the Department of Commerce. "Through collaboration with an existing organization, we are achieving new milestones in economic development, within our borders, and now, outside of them." For more information on the NDTO, contact Susan Prochaska Geib at 701-237-0986 or [email protected].

    APUC Commissioners Award $147,475

    The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) approved $147,475 in funding to six projects at its quarterly meeting held Feb. 12, in Wahpeton. Grant recipients include:

    • Maple River Winery, Casselton, $23,625
    • Sund Manufacturing Company, Newburg, $13,650
    • North Dakota Dairy Coalition, Richardton, $65,000
    • Dakota Valley Growers, LLP, Bathgate, $19,700
    • Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, Grand Forks, $18,000
    • North Dakota Food Processors Association, Bismarck, $7,500

    APUC is a program of the Department of Commerce and administers four grant programs for researching and developing new and expanded uses for North Dakota agricultural products: basic and applied research, marketing and cooperative marketing utilization, farm diversification and agricultural prototype. For more information, contact Executive Director John Schneider at 328-5350 or [email protected]. us.

    North Dakota HOME Program Ranks No. 1

    North Dakota's HOME program is No. 1 in the nation. In a recent program performance evaluation, the Department of Commerce Division of Community Services' program was ranked at the top for providing affordable housing to North Dakotans. All 50 states and Puerto Rico have HOME programs and each was evaluated with specific criteria to determine rank. "There is a strong need for decent, safe housing in North Dakota. Not only is North Dakota setting the standard for the rest of the nation, but we are excelling at community development and providing affordable homes to those in need," said Gov. John Hoeven. "The divisions of our Department of Commerce are finding new ways to work together in community and economic development and tourism. By doing things differently we are finding program innovations that benefit people throughout the state."

    ND Companies Invited to QVC Product Search

    The televised shopping service QVC invites North Dakota entrepreneurs to present their products to QVC representatives during a National Product Search Discovery Tour. The four tour locations are Las Vegas on April 2, Atlanta on April 13, Chicago on April 15 and QVC headquarters in West Chester, Penn., on April 23. "North Dakota entrepreneurs, many of them home-based businesses, have unique, quality products that might appeal to QVC and its customers," said Linda Butts, director of the Economic Development & Finance Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. "This is an opportunity for these North Dakota businesses to market their products nationally." In July 1995, QVC broadcast a special on North Dakota products from the stage of the Medora Musical. Twenty North Dakota entrepreneurs sold their products during that QVC telecast and viewers purchased 22,500 items from the North Dakota companies with sales exceeding $527,000. Information and an online registration form can be found at www.QVCproductsearch.com.

    Alternative Tourism Conference Planned

    The fifth annual North Dakota Alternative Tourism and Rural Enterprise Conference will be held Thursday, April 1, in Wishek. The event gets underway at 8 a.m. and will feature speakers experienced in activities, events and businesses that may not be considered "mainstream" tourism, as well as rural entrepreneurship. Business owners who would like to display their products or services are encouraged to set up a booth at no charge. There is a $15 per person registration fee to attend the conference. To see a tentative agenda and print out a registration form, visit www.edgeley.com. For more information or to reserve booth space, contact Tom Lovik at 701-452-2371 or Becky Meidinger at 701-288-3275. Dakota Heartland Champion Community is the conference sponsor and includes the cities of Edgeley, Kulm, Napoleon, Wishek, Ashley, Lehr and Zeeland

    North Dakota in the News

  • USA Today, Feb. 24, 2004, "Big Cities Lure Away North Dakota Youth," advertising impact = $688,700
  • Food Product Design, January 2004, "Northern Business Climate Balmy," advertising impact = $5,575
  • US Industry Today, December 2003/January 2004, "Site Selection: Fargo," advertising impact = $41,870
  • Site Selection, January 2004, "Wind Blows in New Plains Projects," advertising impact = $21,600
  • Business Journal of Portland, Jan, 16, 2004, "North Dakota Targets Oregon Firms for Recruitment," advertising impact = $14,450
  • American Indian Business News, Summer 2003, "Laducer Commits to Helping Disadvantaged, Minority People Succeed," advertising impact = $11,650

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