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APRIL 2004

For PDF version of this newsletter click here.


  • Partners Will Bring 30 Jobs to Hazelton
  • Business Reception Planned May 12 in Denver
  • Doing Business Differently
  • Local Developers Benefit from Grants
  • EDND Summer Conference is June 13-15
  • Ambassadors Have Their Own Web Site
  • ND MEP Ranks #1 Again
  • ND Trade Delegation Secures Commitments
  • EDA to Host Conference June 8-10
  • North Dakota in the News
  • Partners Will Bring 30 Jobs to Hazelton

    It's taken two years of perseverance for the Hazelton Development Corporation to reach the groundbreaking of Prairie Village Mall - the new downtown home for three manufacturers, a technology center, a grocery store and a salon. "This project stands as a model of partnership for a North Dakota community determined to succeed," said Paul Govig, director of the Community Services Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce (DOC). "By working together, seven partners were able to put together a $1.1 million package that means more than 30 jobs for a town with a population of 237." Partners on the project include the Hazelton Development Corporation, the Bank of Hazelton, the Lewis & Clark Regional Council, the North Dakota Development Fund, the DOC Division of Community Services, the Bank of North Dakota and USDA Rural Development.

    Business Reception Planned May 12 in Denver

    The Department of Commerce, along with several partners, will host a North Dakota Business Reception at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver on Wednesday, May 12. We expect 50 business guests will join us to learn more about North Dakota's positive business climate and the growth and prosperity North Dakota delivers to companies that locate here. In fact, Mark Draeb, CEO of Grizella Corporation, Hebron, will address reception guests and speak candidly about why he chose to locate his company in North Dakota. Grizella was named project of the year in the 2003 Governor's Choice for Economic Development awards. Local organizations joining the Department of Commerce include the Stark Development Corporation, Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corporation, Bismarck Mandan Development Association, Otter Tail Power and the Griggs-Steele Empowerment Zone.

    Doing Business Differently

    A majority of what we do at ED&F; lies with our Business Development team. As the business recruiters for the state, this group of dedicated professionals partners with local economic development officials and others to grow our state's primary sector business base. Existing businesses will always be the major generator of new jobs, and business recruitment is an important means to accelerate new jobs creation and diversify our economy.

    As a state, we have revamped how we recruit. In the past, trade shows were the primary means of making contact with prospective businesses. Today, our business development team does more: they attend trade shows, meet with pre-selected business executives in our targeted industries, host business dinners, receptions and gatherings in strategic metro areas, plan visits to North Dakota communities for site selectors and business clients, respond to leads from our North Dakota Ambassadors and assist with media tours of the state.

    In the newly formed Department of Commerce, our business development team has achieved the following goals:

    • The first goal was to increase the visibility and presence of North Dakota as an option for business expansions from 300 to 600 inquires; we achieved 961.
    • Another goal was to increase the number of lead referrals to local economic development partners from 40 to 60; we achieved 99. Economic development is highly competitive, and it takes about 100 leads to generate one project.
    • Our third goal was to increase the number of out-of-state primary sector businesses that relocate or expand in North Dakota. Working with our local partners, a total of 24 primary sector businesses relocated or expanded in North Dakota from July 1, 2001, to April 1, 2004, including:

      1.��� Buhler�

      13.� Northwest Alfalfa�

      2.��� CBF Group

      14.� NW Ethanol Complex

      3.��� Cirrus Design

      15.� Pemstar�

      4.��� Datatic Technologies

      16.� Pepsi Americas�

      5.��� DirectResponse

      17.� Remington Hybrid Seed��

      6.��� Goodrich

      18.� Ritescreen

      7.��� GP Star�

      19.� Rosenbluth Internat'l�

      8.��� Imation

      20.� SEI Info. Technologies���

      9.��� Infinity Windows�

      21.� Specialty Export

      10.� M&K; Welding �

      22.� Sysco

      11.� Minot Milling�

      23.� Unisys Bismarck SSC

      12.� Northwest Airlines

      24.� Western Polymer

    A national site selector recently said, "I've never seen a state come on as aggressively and get the attention of the national site selectors as quickly as North Dakota has. North Dakota is definitely one of the states I now consider for my clients." To contact our business development team, call Mike Strotheide, VP of Business Development, at 328-5322 or [email protected]. It's programs like this that support our goal of improving the quality of life for all the people.

    Local Developers Benefit from Grants

    Eight cities and nine counties have been approved for $93,500 through the 2003-2005 Partners in Marketing program. The grant program is available from the Economic Development & Finance Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The projects approved thus far include the following:

    • Carrington ($4,500) - collateral materials
    • Cooperstown ($5,000) - trade mission
    • Devils Lake Region Partnership ($35,000) - trade missions, advertising and regional event
    • Grand Forks ($20,000) - collateral materials, advertising and trade mission
    • Southwest Region Developers ($9,000) - regional event
    • West Fargo ($5,000) - collateral materials
    • Williston ($15,000) - regional event

    A total of $175,000 is available through June 30, 2005, to recognized economic development organizations to market their area for business relocation or expansion. The funds are approved on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact Tracy Finneman at [email protected] or 701-328-5352.

    EDND Summer Conference is June 13-15

    The Economic Development Association of North Dakota (EDND) will hold its annual summer conference June 13-15, 2004, at the Elks Lodge in Dickinson. Agenda topics include the energy industry in North Dakota, the 2005 legislative session, business roundtables, and a presentation by Lockwood Greene on how companies make site selection decisions and evaluate communities. As a part of the Lockwood Greene presentation, communities have the opportunity prior to the conference to submit a proposal to Lockwood Greene for evaluation. These communities will receive a written review of their proposal and will meet with Lockwood Greene professionals one-to-one at the conference. Conference attendees will also tour the new West River Community Center.

    Attendees will have numerous opportunities to network with their peers at social events including golf, a steak fry and a trip to the Medora Musical. Mark your calendars for June 13-15 in Dickinson, and watch for details and conference registration forms in the near future.

    Ambassadors Have Their Own Web Site

    The new ambassador's web site - www.luvnd.com - is live! This is a "home" for our 500+ ambassadors; a place to stay in contact with other ambassadors and learn the latest good news about North Dakota. Ambassadors can make their own business cards, participate in forums and submit business leads online. Check it out at www.luvnd.com. We welcome your suggestions to make the site even more useful. Linda Butts, director of the DOC's Division of Economic Development & Finance and the Ambassador's Program, met with North Dakota Ambassadors in Portland and Chicago in February; she will hold a training session for Ambassadors in Los Angeles in April; and meet with Denver Ambassadors in May.

    ND MEP Ranks #1 Again

    The North Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership (ND MEP) claimed the #1 spot for the fourth quarter straight in delivery of Bottom-Line Client Impact Ratio. Since October 2002, the North Dakota center has held the top ranking among 65 MEP centers nationwide. In addition, the ND MEP also ranked #1 for Survey Response Rate and #2 for Investment Leverage Ratio during the fourth quarter 2003. The ND MEP has had a 100 percent response rate since January 2003. For more information on ND MEP, contact Sheila Link at 701-328-7259, [email protected] or visit www.dakotamep.com.

    ND Trade Delegation Secures Commitments

    In March, Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and 18 other members of a trade delegation to Taiwan and Japan succeeded in opening new markets and securing contract commitments with high-level businesses. Two-thirds of the companies on the trade mission secured contract commitments. "Based on discussions with embassy officials and business leaders, Japan has never been more open to business relationships than it is now," Dalrymple said. "Export barriers are coming down and deregulation is happening at a faster pace than ever before. That economic environment creates viable opportunities for North Dakota businesses." Dave Morken, sales manager with Unity Seed in Casselton, sold 1,000 metric tons of soybeans to Japan, in addition to the one container of soybeans sold to Taiwan. Gary Price, president of Cal-Dak Cabinets in Minot, signed a three-year contract with a Japanese distributor to supply formaldehyde-free kitchen cabinets.

    EDA to Host Conference June 8-10

    The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Council on Competitiveness will co-sponsor the annual national economic development conference June 8-10, 2004, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference will focus on the application of innovation-based economic development strategies as the best way for America's communities and regions to compete more effectively in the global economy. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans will deliver the opening keynote address at the conference and will outline the administration's vision for sustained local and regional economic development. Information and an online registration site for this event are available at www.edanationaconference.com.

    North Dakota in the News

    Since January 2003, the North Dakota Department of Commerce has concentrated on securing positive national media coverage for North Dakota and its business climate. Just 15 months later, we have worked to place 23 stories in top-tier media and industry or trade publications for a total advertising impact of more than $1.8 million! One North Dakota Ambassador replied with the following note after reading the Feb. 24 USA Today story: "We know it's cold in North Dakota; we just didn't know all the other good things about the state."