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Bismarck, North Dakota was recently featured by ABC Headline News as an American Boomtown. It talked about how Bismarck, and North Dakota in general has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. With 16,000 open positions, North Dakota is looking for workers in everything from dishwashing to bio-techno-engineering-something, something. In other words, there’s work that appeals to just about any skill set.
Sometimes just knowing where to look is the key piece to the puzzle. There’s only a few short days left of North Dakota’s online job fair – www.WebFairND.com. Until October 31, www.WebFairND.com is featuring job openings across North Dakota. (Spooky, we know … Halloween reference.) Don’t miss your chance to connect, browse and seek out new opportunities in our fine state. Plus, you can always be looking online, anytime by visiting www.FindJobsND.com and connect with North Dakota’s Job Service.
Take the time to look and you just might find a job that’s right for you!
Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Greg Folley, vice president of Caterpillar Inc.’s Remanufacturing & Components Division, announced yesterday that the heavy equipment manufacturing company plans a major expansion at its West Fargo plant.
In August, Caterpillar officials will begin a $50 million expansion project that will create about 250 new jobs during the next three years, nearly doubling the West Fargo plant’s current workforce of 300 employees. The project includes building a 225,000-square-foot addition to the West Fargo plant where Caterpillar employees remanufacture parts for Caterpillar mining equipment. The expansion project is slated to be completed in June 2012. In April, Dalrymple, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the city of West Fargo Economic Development and the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation began contacting officials at Illinois-based Caterpillar, encouraging them to consider West Fargo for their expansion plans.
“We emphasized that Caterpillar would benefit from a workforce that is second to none, that they would benefit from a responsive state government with strong business support services and that they would also benefit from low corporate and property taxes,” Dalrymple said. “With many remanufacturing facilities throughout the United States and the world, Caterpillar had many site options for this expansion. We’re pleased that they appreciate our business climate and we look forward to their growing business presence in North Dakota.”
Caterpillar’s remanufacturing operations return end-of-life components to their original condition in terms of reliability, durability and performance. The West Fargo expansion will help Caterpillar meet the strong demand for remanufactured drive train components for large, off-highway trucks and other mining equipment, including final drives, transmissions, torque convertors and steering clutches.
The plant’s expanded footprint will house high-tech machining, metal additive processes and a state-of-the-art metal sciences lab which will support the company’s increased production of remanufactured parts and advanced wear coatings.
In 2008, Caterpillar purchased the West Fargo remanufacturing plant from Gremada Industries which was established by Greg, Matthew and David Butler in 1962. With the assistance of business loans provided by the Bank of North Dakota and with workforce training assistance provided by North Dakota Job Service, Gremada’s business expanded to include more than 200 employees.
Editors Note: The following is an editorial piece by Joel Kotkin which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on March 14, 2011. It’s the kind of article that makes us proud to be Ambassadors for the Great State of North Dakota!
By Joel Kotkin, Wall Street Journal
Living on the harsh, wind-swept northern Great Plains, North Dakotans lean towards the practical in economic development. Finding themselves sitting on prodigious pools of oil—estimated by the state’s Department of Mineral Resources at least 4.3 billion barrels—they are out drilling like mad. And the state is booming.
Unemployment is 3.8%, and according to a Gallup survey last month, North Dakota has the best job market in the country. Its economy “sticks out like a diamond in a bowl of cherry pits,” says Ron Wirtz, editor of the Minneapolis Fed’s newspaper, fedgazette. The state’s population, slightly more than 672,000, is up nearly 5% since 2000.
The biggest impetus for the good times lies with energy development. Around 650 wells were drilled last year in North Dakota, and the state Department of Mineral Resources envisions another 5,500 new wells over the next two decades. Between 2005 and 2009, oil industry revenues have tripled to $12.7 billion from $4.2 billion, creating more than 13,000 jobs.
Already fourth in oil production behind Texas, Alaska and California, the state is positioned to advance on its competitors. Drilling in both Alaska and the Gulf, for example, is currently being restrained by Washington-imposed regulations. And progressives in California—which sits on its own prodigious oil supplies—abhor drilling, promising green jobs while suffering double-digit unemployment, higher utility rates and the prospect of mind-numbing new regulations that are designed to combat global warming and are all but certain to depress future growth. In North Dakota, by contrast, even the state’s Democrats—such as Sen. Kent Conrad and former Sen. Byron Dorgan—tend to be pro-oil. The industry services the old-fashioned liberal goal of making middle-class constituents wealthier.
Oil also is the principal reason North Dakota enjoys arguably the best fiscal situation in all the states. With a severance tax on locally produced oil, there’s a growing state surplus. Recent estimates put an extra $1 billion in the state’s coffers this year, and that’s based on a now-low price of $70 a barrel.
North Dakota, however, is no one-note Prairie sheikdom. The state enjoys prodigious coal supplies and has—yes—even moved heavily into wind-generated electricity, now ranking ninth in the country. Thanks to global demand, North Dakota’s crop sales are strong, but they are no longer the dominant economic driver—agriculture employs only 7.2% of the state’s work force.
Perhaps more surprising, North Dakota is also attracting high-tech. For years many of the state’s talented graduates left home, but that brain drain is beginning to reverse. This has been critical to the success of many companies, such as Great Plains Software, which was founded in the 1980s and sold to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion. The firm has well over 1,000 employees.
The corridor between Grand Forks and Fargo along the Red River (the border between North Dakota and Minnesota) has grown rapidly in the past decade. It now boasts the headquarters of Microsoft Business Systems and firms such as PacketDigital, which makes microelectronics for portable electronic devices and systems. There are also biotech firms such as Aldevron, which manufactures proteins for biomedical research. Between 2002 and 2009, state employment in science, technology, engineering and math-related professions grew over 30%, according to EMSI, an economic modeling firm. This is five times the national average.
While the overall numbers are still small compared to those of bigger states, North Dakota now outperforms the nation in everything from the percentage of college graduates under the age of 45 to per-capita numbers of engineering and science graduates. Median household income in 2009 was $49,450, up from $42,235 in 2000. That 17% increase over the last decade was three times the rate of Massachussetts and more than 10 times that of California.
Some cities, notably Fargo (population 95,000), have emerged as magnets. “Our parking lot has 20 license plates in it,” notes Niles Hushka, co-founder of Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson, an engineering firm active in Great Plains energy development. Broadway Drive in Fargo’s downtown boasts art galleries, good restaurants and young urban professionals hanging out in an array of bars. This urban revival is a source of great pride in Fargo.
What accounts for the state’s success? Dakotans didn’t bet the farm, so to speak, on solar cells, high-density housing or high-speed rail. Taxes are moderate—the state ranks near the middle in terms of tax per capita, according to the Tax Foundation—and North Dakota is a right-to-work state, which makes it attractive to new employers, especially in manufacturing. But the state’s real key to success is doing the first things first—such as producing energy, food and specialized manufactured goods for which there is a growing, world-wide market. This is what creates the employment and wealth that can support environmental protection and higher education.
Thankfully, this kind of sensible thinking is making a comeback in some other states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. These hard-pressed states realize that attending to basic needs—in their case, shale natural gas—could be just the elixir to resuscitate their economies.
What? Probably a great idea made reality by the Innovate North Dakota program. Innovate ND is North Dakota’s statewide economic development initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn business ideas into functional businesses.
Innovate ND recently announced it has narrowed its 2011 field from 58 to 23 teams, with the top 20 teams advancing to the final round (and the potential for $10,000 to start their business) in April. The range of teams that have participate in Innovate ND is extensive. There have been competitors with ideas from high-tech electronics to beauty products.
To date, nearly 700 participants and 350 teams have enrolled in the Innovate ND competition since 2007. Approximately 100 new businesses are operational or in the development stage as a result of the program.
And that brings us to the second reason I love this blog title … Advancing North Dakota. Entrepreneurs really are the backbone of what North Dakota was built on and will continue to advance our state into the future. What would we have done if our ancestors had looked at North Dakota and said “it’s flat” and kept on going. Thank goodness for their entrepreneurial spirit and the call of adventure that’s bread into all of us.
Program helps entrepreneurs turn innovative concepts into viable business ventures.
Registration for the 5th Annual Innovate ND competition wraps up on Nov. 12. Innovate ND is a statewide initiative designed to help entrepreneurs turn innovative concepts into viable new North Dakota business ventures. For a $250 registration, participants get access to a proven venture-building process and a chance to win one of five $15,000 prizes.
Registration is available online at www.InnovateND.com. The program includes online entrepreneur education, business planning tools and coaching and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and proven business owners.
The top 20 entries will get the chance to pitch their business idea to a panel of potential investors. Up to five $15,000 cash prizes will be awarded as well as a wide variety of business services and potential seed capital investments to launch their businesses.
Nearly 700 participants and 350 teams have enrolled in the competition since 2006. Last year, 107 ideas were submitted and over 200 people participated in the program.
The program is organized by the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the UND Center for Innovation and the NDSU Research and Technology Park.
Forum Communications is the lead sponsor. Cavendish Farms of Jamestown is also a premier sponsor. Partner programs include Marketplace of Ideas, DSU Strom Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Southern Valley Innovation Center in Wahpeton, IDEA Center in Bismarck, Bismarck State College Office of Innovation, Minot State University and Severson Entrepreneurship Academy.
Other sponsors include Great River Energy, State Bank & Trust, Bremer Bank, North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, Montana Dakota Utilities, Weather Modification, Solarbee, Agency MABU, the Kilbourne Group, First Western Bank and Trust, ND Society of Certified Public Accountants, Bismarck-Mandan Development Association, Dakota Growers Pasta Company and Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corporation.
Twenty-two North Dakota manufacturers and service providers are participating in the first Governor’s GE Aviation Small Business Supplier Symposium in Grand Forks today.
The symposium is structured around coaching and mentoring local small businesses in doing business with GE Aviation through panel discussions and one-on-one sessions. Following the event, GE will provide an opportunity for further discussions with those businesses that match GE’s growing commodities.
Gov. John Hoeven and GE Aviation Vice President Scott Ernest briefed participants on the significant benefits this outreach can offer both to local businesses and GE Aviation.
“We are working with GE Aviation to expand the company’s relationships in North Dakota, and in so doing, to create jobs and new opportunities for our state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Hoeven said.
“GE Aviation is thrilled with the opportunity to grow its supply base in North Dakota. We are interested in expanding our number of minority and women owned businesses that have the capabilities we need during this time of increased production,” Ernest said.
Microlap Technologies, Inc. (www.microlap.com) employs 55 people in Rolla, N.D. They are a leading U.S. manufacturer of custom, high-precision industrial components made from synthetic ruby and sapphire, ceramic, tungsten carbide and other hard materials. The company services a variety of industries including aviation, defense, telecommunications, medical, and water jet cutting and cleaning.
“This symposium is a great opportunity for us to learn how our products and services might fit with GE Aviation. Having a forum like this helps smaller companies like ours gain exposure to larger companies like GE Aviation,” Microlap CEO Steve Arvidson said. “With an environment like this symposium we have a more focused opportunity than we would by going to an industry trade show. Obviously, that’s an attractive opportunity for a growing business like ours where marketing budgets are often limited.”
Appareo Systems (www.appareo.com) of Fargo also participated in the symposium. Founded in 2001, Appareo designs and manufactures electronic, mechanical and software products for aerospace, defense and transportation applications worldwide.
“As North Dakota continues to emerge as a center for aerospace innovation, events like this symposium catalyze our growing relationships with the industry’s household names,” David Batcheller, chief operations officer of Appareo, said. “Through these relationships we believe North Dakota companies can continue to stay at the forefront of aerospace technology.”
The North Dakota Department of Commerce helped coordinate the event. “North Dakota has a terrific base of innovative and efficient businesses that can deliver outstanding products and services as suppliers to large companies like GE,” Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle said. “This is one more way we are working to support business growth and diversification in our state.”
GE Aviation employs approximately 37,000 employees and operates more than 50 manufacturing and service facilities around the world. The company invests $1 billion annually in jet propulsion R&D programs. GE Aviation, a GE operating unit based in Cincinnati, is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. www.ndcommerce.com
ENTREPRENEUR. Webster’s dictionary defines it as “One who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.
For some it means freedom. For others it’s the culmination of dreams.
To me, being an entrepreneur means hours of labor. Of hard work. Being able to think outside the box, being visionary, having an innate belief in myself, knowing that the first step is the hardest, being willing to help others, and the understanding that ‘NO’ is just a word.
My husband and I are both ‘entrepreneurs’. When we moved back to ND five years ago, he brought his business Tom Kat on Site Inc back with him. He is a mobile Caterpillar engine repair specialist. It’s defiantly considered a niche! Getting our business set up in ND wasn’t anywhere near as time-consuming or complicated as what was expected. Both our accountant and local banker were well-informed on what we needed to transition from Colorado to ND. With some creative marketing, a good work ethic and a great atmosphere, his business really took off and we are very happy with it.
Because of our success with Tom Kat on Site, we were able to start TomkatZ Repair (automotive) in Washburn and sell it to my cousin and his family who we had talked into relocating from Sacramento.
We also currently own D’Eggos Diner in Underwood. We’ve been there almost a year now. We decided that since I was already commuting to Bismarck to work in hospitality, I might as well work for myself. It’s been a little more challenging. Business is actually very good. Finding help is the issue at hand. With a little creativity we are overcoming that. Also through the Diner, we have been able to help one of our girls launch Connie’s Cowboy Cookies and Bakery. It works out great … She needs somewhere to bake, I need baked goods.
It’s like paying it forward. North Dakota Style.
For us North Dakota has been a great place to do business. The resources are seemingly endless. There’s networking opportunities, (we became active in the Ambassador program before moving here) free business classes, terrific support from our local lender, a state website that‘s easy to navigate, ‘atta boys’ from the community and much more. We tell everybody to come here! I would definitely say doing business in ND is rewarding. Not just financially, but personally as well.
Written by Guest Blogger – Katy Kassian | We could tell you her story, but she’s already done it so well above! Katy and her husband Tom live in the Regan area.
If Katy has aroused your inner entrepreneur, now’s the time to enter the InnovateND competition. Click the link and find out more!
BISMARCK, N.D. — Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle today provided legislators on the interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee with a progress report on the state’s current efforts to address western North Dakota infrastructure needs.
“The growth in oil producing counties is having a positive effect on local economies but it is also posing challenges,” Goettle said. “The good news is that city and county officials are working together, and with the state, to make progress on immediate issues, while developing thoughtful plans for permanent, long-term investments that will enhance the infrastructure of this region for years to come.”
More than $210 million in direct funding will go to oil and gas producing cities, counties and schools in the current biennium. That includes $165 million in oil county revenues and $50 million from royalties on federal lands in the public domain.
The state implemented a record budget of $1.35 billion statewide for transportation in 2009-2011, a 50 percent increase from the last biennium. This includes $500 million for state and local roadways. In the 2010-2011 construction seasons, $237 million is dedicated to the western part of the state including the Dickinson, Williston and Minot areas. Goettle said for continued transportation improvements North Dakota needs a dependable, multi-year federal transportation bill.
Major western North Dakota highway projects integrated in the state transportation improvement plan include:
- US 85 - $75 million to Super 2 US 85 with passing lanes, intersection improvements & turning lanes, transitional to four-laning from Williston to I-94.
- ND 12 - $34 million to provide major rehabilitation of the road.
- ND 8 – $21 million to re-grade and add a traffic signal at the intersection of US 2 and ND 8 at Stanley.
- ND 23 - $16.5 million for major upgrades, intersection improvements, passing and turning lanes moving toward a Super 2 status, and designed to allow four-laning.
- ND 22 – $14 million for pavement upgrades.
Additional safety measures have been implemented to improve road safety, including rumble strips, turning lanes, education efforts and enforcement campaigns. According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol these steps are proving effective and fatalities are down in oil and gas producing counties. Fatalities for the 17 oil and gas producing counties are 56 percent lower than last year at this time, 21 fatalities compared to 46 at the same time last year.
More than 1,000 new units are in the works in Williston alone, including about 848 new units permitted or under construction in 2010-11. This includes 122 homes, 169 apartment units, 136 manufactured homes, 30 extended stay-hotel rooms, 233 standard hotel rooms, 158 crew quarters. It also includes a new mobile home park with accommodations for more than 300 lots already committed. In addition, a contractor in Dickinson is planning 170 single family and duplex homes, up to 320 apartment units, and 13 acres of commercial land to serve the community’s long-range needs. Other developers are in the early stages of developing approximately 250 more homes in the Dickinson area. State and local officials are also working successfully to attract additional investors. Several are breaking ground on new housing projects including:
- Granite Peak Development, LLC, in partnership with the City of Williston and Bank of North Dakota has 159 single-family and twin homes targeted for completion by Christmas; two apartment complexes with more than 100 units; and 850 new residential lots are being planned for next spring.
- Leadership Circle, L.L.C. has more than 130 single-family lots in various stages of construction and 16 nearing completion, with 32 targeted for completion by October. Six single-family homes are currently under construction with plans to start at least 10 more homes before October. A 5.5 acre lot is targeted for developing two apartment buildings with between 100 and 120 units.
- Roers Development, Inc., a Fargo-based company with projects in Minot, Jamestown and Fargo, is planning a major five-year project in Dickinson, which will include about 85 single-family homes; about 85 twin homes; up to 320 apartment units; and about 13 acres of commercial land for stores and services.
The State Water Commission has approved 34 groundwater and six surface water permits to help meet industrial and municipal water needs in western North Dakota. Depots in Dodge, Ray, Tioga, Stanley, Watford City and elsewhere are providing the water necessary to address the long-term municipal water supply needs of the petroleum industry to enhance industry sustainability.
New pipeline capacity is helping to reduce wear and tear on state and county roads. In fact, pipeline and rail capacity in the state now exceeds production in both North Dakota and Montana, resulting in reduced discounts for producers of North Dakota petroleum and less stress on the state’s infrastructure. For example, the new Four Bears Pipeline scheduled to be completed late this year or early next year will be able to transport 60,000 barrels of oil per day, enough to take 300 trucks a day off ND 22 and ND 23 between New Town and Dickinson. Other intra- and interstate pipelines and gathering systems throughout western North Dakota are reducing traffic on the roads.
Studies and Initiatives
To help cities and counties with their planning, Goettle said the Commerce Department is collaborating with the Oil and Gas Producing Counties and other state agencies on studies and initiatives to gather information about transportation, housing and workforce needs prior to the upcoming session.
- Transportation: The study is compiling an assessment of current traffic counts on key county and township arteries in order to quantify short-, intermediate- and long-term needs. Goettle said a draft report is expected by mid-November.
- Housing: The North Dakota Housing and Finance Agency, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and the Bank of North Dakota are providing 70 percent of the funding for a comprehensive housing assessment to identify opportunities and barriers to housing development in these communities. When completed, sometime in December, the final report will include an examination of housing issues from the employers’, communities’ and developers’ perspectives. The communities of Watford City, Williston, Tioga, Stanley, New Town and Parshall have joined this study.
- Workforce: The North Dakota Petroleum Council and the North Dakota Department of Commerce are conducting a workforce needs assessment to project the workforce and skill needs for the oil and natural gas industry and industry sub-sectors. Seventy-seven oil and gas employers were targeted for this survey. This survey also includes a series of questions designed to assess short and long term housing demand to feed into the housing study described above. The study is to be complete before the legislative session begins in January.
- Technical Assistance: This $300,000 technical assistance matching grant program available through the North Dakota Department of Commerce will help cities and counties in oil development areas craft plans for water, sewer, zoning and other infrastructure needs connected with oil and gas development. To date, Commerce has received formal applications from McKenzie County, Adams County, Stark County, Parshall, Crosby, Stanley and Killdeer and interest from a number of other communities.
State Agencies Working To Help
Meanwhile, the state is working to help through existing agencies and programs. The ND Public Finance Authority is providing assistance with bonds, up to $10 million in two phases to reduce risk. The Bank of North Dakota is providing Flex PACE loans; letters of credit to mitigate risk for necessary infrastructure in support of housing developments; access to credit with local lenders; and a variety of housing programs, including a $10 million pool to purchase USDA Guaranteed Loans. The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is providing a total of $4.2 million in western North Dakota through a broad range of programs to provide financial assistance for low- and moderate-income housing.
“We’re working with cities and counties to provide the funding and technical support necessary to substantially boost their ability to meet both the immediate and long-range transportation, housing, and water needs of their communities,” Goettle said.
Goettle said the various studies are advancing to fully assess needs. The challenge for lawmakers and local authorities will be to find consensus on how those needs will be presented and funding will be administered and distributed.
“North Dakota is investing significant sums of money to address infrastructure needs in this region,” Goettle said. “In doing so, it’s essential that we not only make funds available but that we ensure the money is being used wisely and in a way that will provide meaningful long-term solutions.”
A recent article by Jill Schramm of the Minot Daily highlighted the experiences of two interns at Info Tech. The internships, created with assistance from Operation Intern, offered some hands on experience to a couple of North Dakota students. The story is definitely one worth sharing so enjoy:
Knight, a senior at North Dakota State University, and Hildebrand, a junior at Minot State University, spent their summer developing a computer application for InfoTech that will convert part of the company’s operation from paper to electronic technology.
They will complete the 12-week internship Friday with a presentation on the project before company officials from Minot and New York City.
“I never thought we could do something of this magnitude going into it so I am very happy with what we did,” Knight said.
Hildebrand added there were days when the project seemed so frustrating that they just wanted to quit and go home. But they put their heads together, solved problems and saw their hard work pay off.
“This was really cool to be working on something that people will actually use,” Hildebrand said.
Their project involved developing the iTracker, a program that enables technology service staff to electronically log their service reports rather than filling out paper copies. By early July, the interns had a program for staff to begin using while they worked out bugs and continued to develop new program functions. When finished, the program will allow service staff to enter information using their smartphone Blackberries.
Heidi Dammen, software developer at InfoTech and intern supervisor, said the young men had a good turnaround time in developing a workable product, and with few initial bugs.
The end product is one that the company’s information technology manager had been requesting for some time, she said. Internal applications often get pushed aside by the needs of clients, so having two interns who could take on the neglected task has been important in getting the project done, she said.
Mac Magaster, chief of operations at Minot Technology Center, said the company had various reasons for creating the internship, including the desire to build a potential employee pool for technology jobs like those at InfoTech.
“We want to be a part of this community. We want to build a relationship with the university. We are always looking to hire,” Magaster said. “To have that link between the university and InfoTech so that the students are aware that there are opportunities in Minot for what they are studying is a plus and a benefit for everybody.”
InfoTech participated in the North Dakota Commerce Department’s Operation Intern, which enabled the company to provide a paid internship for which students also can receive college credits. The company worked with Minot State University to develop a program that would meet the requirements for college credit at the different schools.
“It’s a well-planned out program. That’s to the benefit of our students,” said Deanna Klein, associate professor in the College of Business at MSU, who assisted InfoTech in researching the credit requirements.
Klein said students who intern are a step ahead of other students when it comes to job placement after graduation.
“It was a win-win for everyone for the college, for the students, for InfoTech,” Magaster said. “This was such a great opportunity to see those two gentleman grow over the last 12 weeks. This was an invaluable experience. I think they have a different perspective on everything they thought they knew.”
Knight said it was a new experience to work on a project that had to meet an end user’s satisfaction and would actually be employed and not just work long enough to be graded before it’s discarded. He’ll not look at his college projects quite the same from now on.
“I am going to be more of a perfectionist when it comes to my work,” he said.
Hildebrand said many students choose college majors without having a real knowledge of whether they are going to like the field once they get a job. He feels he now has a good understanding, and he’s definitely interested in working in computer science.
That teamwork associated with the job is something the interns came to value. Initially, Dammen was there to help when they needed her expertise, but they learned that by working together, they could solve most of their problems.
“At the beginning, we were like, ‘How are we going to do this?’ At the end, we both thought we did it so much quicker than we thought we were going to,” Knight said. “Whenever one of us would get stuck, the other person would come and we would work on it together.”
Working eight hours a day also was a change for the students, who previously had thought sitting down and writing computer code for a hour was a long time. The interns were pleasantly surprised to get their own office, telephone and e-mail accounts. They also grew accustomed over the summer to the office environment, including the dress code.
“I am very good at tying ties now,” Knight said.
InfoTech is taking applications from college juniors and seniors for a fall internship program. Interns will work 20 hours a week. Students can obtain applications from their computer science professors or at InfoTech, located in the Wells Fargo building in downtown Minot.
If you are someone who wants to help your rural community remain viable long into the future, you don’t want to miss the Governor’s Rural Community Summit coming up on August 24-25, at the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot. The conference is aimed at providing information and best practices to help rural communities become more sustainable, but one of the key take-aways is the relationships and idea generation that occurs.
One participant from the 2008 event had this to say, “One thing I took away from the 2008 Summit was ideas I can implement and best practices from other rural communities.”
“This is an opportunity for all of our rural leaders and business people to learn about development programs, best practices, and innovative strategies to break through obstacles to discover new opportunities,” North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle said. “We want everyone involved in advancing our rural communities to participate.”
The agenda includes forums focused on community growth, including business and community development, destination marketing, and workforce attraction and retention strategies.
Joel Kotkin, author of “The Next Hundred Million,” will provide a keynote address titled “Revival of the Great Plains”. Koktin’s presentation will explore what America will look like in 2050 when the population approaches 400 million people. He will explain how this unprecedented growth will allow America to emerge by mid century as the most affluent, culturally rich and successful nation in history.
Participants of the conference will also receive an economic development toolkit featuring best practices for promoting communities.
Lead sponsors for the Summit are the Governor’s Office, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, USDA Rural Development and the Economic Development Association of North Dakota. In addition, the Bank of North Dakota, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, the Secretary of State’s office, Department of Career & Technical Education, Stark Development Corporation and the NDSU Extension Center for Community Vitality are also supporting the event.
For cost, agenda, speaker information and registration visit: Governor’s Rural Community Summit.