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Grand Forks Business News

Regional Council leads county planning session

07/24/2014 09:11 AM: 

As the UAS industry takes off in the region and other industries including ag and manufacturing remain strong, there are opportunities for all cities and towns in the region to grow.
 
The Red River Regional Council, in partnership with the EDC, hosted a town hall meeting this month and held a planning session with representatives from communities throughout the county to share ideas begin developing a road map.

FedEx bringing distribution center to business park

07/24/2014 08:44 AM: 

FedEx Ground is growing in Grand Forks with a distribution center to be built in the Grand Forks Business Park, next to Acme Tools. They will become the second tenant of the 125-acre park, which opened in Spring 2013.

Thompson seed company expanding

07/24/2014 08:07 AM: 

A $1.5 million project in Thompson, N.D. will increase Northern Tier Seed's capacity to about 1.5 million bushels. 

Workforce committee focuses on six areas

07/02/2014 08:01 AM: 

The region’s business community is continuing to identify workforce development strategies for the Grand Forks area, forming the Grand Forks Workforce Committee.

Steffes expanding in Grand Forks

06/27/2014 08:08 AM: 

After two years in Grand Forks, Steffes Corporation is expanding to keep up with product demand.

 
Featured Business

Cirrus Aircraft continues growing in Grand Forks

By John Hageman
Grand Forks Herald 

Cirrus Aircraft has expanded in Grand Forks, now employing more than 140.

An aircraft maker with a factory in Grand Forks announced last week that it shipped 9 percent more planes last year than it had in 2012.

Along with that increase, Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft’s workforce in Grand Forks has grown by almost 75 percent in the past 18 months. And with new projects in development and the national economy slowly improving, Cirrus executives are optimistic about the future.

“We’re a little bullish,” said Bill King, the company’s vice president of business administration. “We actually think (2014) is going to be better than last.”

Still, the 276 planes Cirrus delivered in 2013 are just a portion of what it sold in the years before the recession. King said the entire aircraft industry is still feeling the effects of the economic downturn.

King said he doesn’t expect to Cirrus sales to return to pre-recession levels any time soon. The company shipped 710 planes in 2007 before dropping to 268 in 2009, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

 “We don’t see it happening in the very near future, but we do think it will happen,” King said. “It’s certainly not something we’re structuring for over the next year or two, we think it’s further out than that.”

“But if it happens … we’ll find a way to build ‘em,” he added.

Improved sales

Cirrus’ sales numbers last year represented its largest shipment since 2008, and its share in the single-engine piston market grew to a record 37 percent, the company reported.

The company has been able to dominate the sector, King said, simply because they’ve been able to offer quality planes at a decent price.

“In this day and age, people want value,” King said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re buying cars, planes or pencil sharpeners.”

Its workforce here has grown from 83 to 144 in the past 18 months, King said. In Duluth, it employs about 500 people.

(For full story, click headline)

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