March 31, 2021

Grand Forks Region Top 10 – March 2021

  1. Nathan Iseminger joined the EDC team as the UAS sector developer. Iseminger recently retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 years of active duty. We’re happy to have him aboard!
  2. “What’s Cooler Today?” in the Grand Forks region? We have your answer! Check out the new blog series written by locals on their favorite places, activities, and food. This is part of the Greater Grand Forks: Way Cooler Than You Think! initiative. 
  3. ICYMI: Mayor Brandon Bochenski gave his first State of the City on March 17. Some highlights included an overview of new development projects, an increase in sales tax revenue, and casting a vision for a post-pandemic Grand Forks.
  4. “Impossible anywhere else.” Check out Northrop Grumman’s story of success with flight tests of their new drone ‘Firebird’. The Grand Forks region continues to break barriers as the nation’s UAS trailblazer.
  5. Zipline Systems Engineer Louise Fleischer presented at Drone Biz’s quarterly meeting. She talked about cold weather testing progress at their North Dakota site. Zipline is a medical supply drone delivery company and recently delivered its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to Ghana in early March. 
  6. The Grand Forks City Council approved a new franchise fee rate structure intended to make the City more competitive in attracting businesses that use an extraordinary amount of electricity. This move could help bring big data centers to grow our high tech industry.
  7. Congratulations to member company Retrax on reaching a sales milestone of its 500,000th truck bed cover. They also reported that 2020 was the best year yet for the company which included an increase in sales that led to expanding their workforce by 15%. 
  8. The Grand Forks Growth Fund will request the Economic Development Administration (EDA) defederalize the revolving loan fund the agency capitalized in 1997. This means the city would have local control and more flexibility on how the funds are spent.
  9. After months of gathering data, the Community Foundation, Knight Foundation, and JLG Architects released the University Avenue Corridor study. The corridor, which spans from Columbia Road and North Third Street, connects UND to downtown and city leaders are looking at how to further develop the area.
  10. The GFK Airport was once again the busiest airport in the nation in early March. A fun fact that you may not know is that the unique military partnership with the Grand Forks Air Force Base also contributed to this remarkable achievement. Active-duty airmen and DoD civilians working in the Grand Forks AFB Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) provide radar service to UND Flight School operations and the GFK control tower. This partnership has repeatedly made the Grand Forks RAPCON the 2nd busiest in Air Combat Command by annual volume. 

The EDC is preparing a monthly report on key regional economic indicators. Click here to see February’s Economy at a Glance.

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