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The Partners in Marketing program administered by the North Dakota Department of Commerce assists communities and counties in targeting their marketing efforts for primary sectory businesses and workforce recruitment.
Guest Author – Maria Effertz Hanson, McHenry County Job Development Authority
The saying “If you aren’t growing, you are falling backwards,” holds very true for rural North Dakota. Many of the communities in McHenry County realize their “gems” need to be shared with the rest of the country in order to grow and sustain the way of life we cherish. One of the great partners communities in McHenry County have used it the Department of Commerce’s Partners in Marketing program.
The City of Towner recently finished their first phase of a multi-year community awareness and marketing program. Included in the first steps to bring awareness to the opportunities in the area was improving their web page and finding an active communicator to keep the page “fresh.” This partner, the editor of the Mouse River Journal has been terrific to keep www.townernd.com page current on school and community activities, along with highlighting the opportunities for jobs, buildings for sale and business ventures. Towner also created a brochure to entice families to move to the area that will be placed across the state utilizing another partner, the ND Department of Tourism. The final piece to the first phase is marketing materials to fill the now vacant USDA inspected cheese facility. These materials were professional produced and utilized another partner, the MAGIC Fund Rural Marketing Match program, to create and distribute to potential buyers and industries.
The community use local and state partners to make the most of their limited funding. Not only has these materials created a professional image of the community to the world, it has increased the activities of the Commercial Club and Local Economic Development Corporation. In 2010 the community will once again partner with local resources, including the county JDA, to place billboards along Highway 2 directing people to stop, shop and play in Towner, North Dakota.
Generating interest in rural North Dakota takes multitudes of partners sharing the good news about the opportunity of rural North Dakota. We are very proud to be one of North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Partners for the future of the state.
The field of participants in the fourth Innovate ND program has been narrowed from 107 to 25 teams who will proceed to the final round of oral presentations and judging May 17 and 18 in Fargo.
Jeff Stamp, entrepreneur in residence at the UND Center of Innovation and creator of Innovate ND’s educational content, said the quality and diversity of this year’s submissions is impressive. “In many states, you see a heavy concentration of plans around one idea or industry,” he said. “We have ideas from construction, energy, retail, health care, agriculture, aviation and defense, and products that could potentially touch the lives of customers worldwide. North Dakota’s bright economic picture combined with a diverse entrepreneurial pool bode well for our state’s future growth.”
The following entrepreneurs and ideas have been selected to advance into the next phase of the program. Two participants requested to remain anonymous.
Camerin Hahn, EMC2, Williston
Kirsten Moseng, AggregateND, Bottineau
Ron Nissen, Toilet Boot, Minot
Nicole Morrison-Mathern, URL (U Rock Lately) Radio LLC, Bismarck
Brian Osowski, AMKO Tax Exempt Fund LLC, Grand Forks
David Dvorak, Field of View Aerial Imaging Company, Grand Forks
Dr. Yong Hou, Clean Republic, Grand Forks
Greg Johnson, Quick Diaper, Grand Forks
Josh Goldade, SunAir Power LLC, Grand Forks
Ryan Wanzek, ZoneMAP, Grand Forks
Ryan Maikowski, SIGNfyi, Grand Forks
Aaron Lamb, Lift’n Buddy, Fargo
Bruce Brodsho, Woodiees, Hardwood
Clint Howitz, Dog IDs, Fargo
Dean Onchuck, Ridge Rite, Mooreton
Dwight Kinzer, HexPack, Fargo
Merrill Piepkorn, Prairie Airwaves, Fargo
Michael Vandevoort, More Than Worms, Fargo
Rebecca Jasper, Accordance Corporation, Jamestown
Sally Loeffler, Outermost Layer, Fargo
Tom Fiechtner, ViewMax LLC, Fargo
Out of State:
Robert Rohla, Rohla and Selland Distilling Company LLC, Louisville, Ky.
Trevor Ibach, KotiKites and WindSports, Glyndon, Minn.
In selecting ideas for the final round, judges looked at five criteria: innovation, commercial viability, investment opportunity, entrepreneur team and quality of presentation.
The top 25 ideas are invited to attend the Business Plan Boot Camp in Grand Forks on March 13. This event will help finalists develop their financial data and offer tips for pitching their ideas to Innovate ND judges in the final round. The five Innovate ND Idea champions will be announced at the Innovate ND Awards Banquet May 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo.
To date, nearly 500 people with 250 ideas have participated in the program and 70 new businesses are operational or in the development stage as a result.
Participants in any new businesses launched by Innovate ND will receive ongoing technical assistance from the UND Center for Innovation staff and local hosts through the end of the year.
Innovate ND is a statewide economic development initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn business ideas into functional businesses. It is a being coordinated by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the UND Center of Innovation and the NDSU Research and Technology Park.
The program is made possible by more than $200,000 in private sector contributions and in-kind donations. More information is available at www.innovatend.com.
Making a living. Making a life.
For some people, this probably means the same thing, for others, not so much.
In listening to the stories of those who are moving back or relocating to North Dakota, I am finding that those two statements “living” and “life” are mingling in exciting ways.
Those who are former North Dakotans, know that the “life” they are looking for is here, so they’re ready to come make their “living” here after spreading their wings elsewhere. For new North Dakotas–those relocating to the state–many are coming to make a “living,” driven by the need of work and a new place to be. However, they are quickly finding a “life” they hadn’t expected filled with good, caring, helpful people and that love of North Dakota “life” begins in a new way.
Here’s a great testimonial from one of our recent North Dakota relocators. Gilberto Karalus recently moved from Florida to Dickinson, N.D. (Thanks for permission to post your story Gilberto!)
I had filed an application in the North Dakota Workforce where you (Commerce’s relocation program) forwarded me in October. Around November, I received a surprise call to setup a phone meeting and 2 days later I got a job offer to start December 4. That made me run because I had only a week to be in and at the job place. At the time I never been in North Dakota. I had spent the last 18 years in Miami, Florida, with a few months in Oklahoma City.
I compared the weather with Anchorage, Alaska at that moment and it was 0 degrees farenheit in Alaska and 32 degrees farenheit in North Dakota. I said to myself: “I can survive that!” The comparison was because my grandsons are in Alaska.
So I threw all the “junk” I owned that I could fit in my Geo Metro and drove the 2,300 miles in three-and-a-half days. I got to Dickinson, North Dakota on December 1st around 3 p.m. I decided to go to my employer first, and they where surprised! Everyone was really helpful; helping me those first days. A few days ago I was at a gas station and a local notice the Florida Tag in my car, and asked me “Did you made the wrong turn in Albuquerque?”
No, I got a job!
Take a moment and read more relocation to North Dakota stories.