May 4, 2022

Top 10 – April 2022

1. Annual Meeting

Thank you everyone for attending our 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 28! The theme was “Above & Beyond” and highlighted how in 2021, leaders and businesses went above and beyond with various successes in regional economic development. The EDC board of directors presented the 2022 Klaus Thiessen Impact Award to Wes Rydell. The award honors businesses or individuals who have made a positive and significant impact on economic growth and prosperity in the Grand Forks region.

2. Workforce Initiative

At the annual meeting, we also introduced our initiative to increase our workforce development capacity. The EDC will embark on a membership drive later this year to add resources to our workforce development efforts.  The additional resources will allow us to create new programming, pursue external funding and establish a more robust regional workforce development strategy with our partners. Read more here.

3. Brandon Baumbach

After being with the EDC for six years, Director of Business Development Brandon Baumbach has accepted a new position as the Grand Forks Public School’s business manager. To say he will be missed in our office is an understatement. We wish him the best in serving the Grand Forks region in his new role within the community.

We are currently searching for his replacement. Find the job description and more information on our website.

4. Fufeng USA

The month of April marked key progress on the Fufeng USA development. On Monday, April 18, the city council heard staff presentation and public comment related to the project. The city council provided preliminary approval and set public hearings for May 16 on the following items, except for the annexation public hearing which will be held on June 6:

    • A replat of the project property
    • A vacation of a street right away on the project property
    • An amendment of the zoning map to rezone the project property to be 1-2, heavy industrial
    • An annexation of properties around the area of the project

5. North Dakota Development Fund

The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced two Grand Forks businesses were approved for loan funding through the North Dakota Development Fund. Airtonomy Inc. was approved for $1 million to hire additional staff within North Dakota. Academy of Kids Child Care Center Inc. was awarded $89,000 for renovations.

6. Northern Tier Seed

EDC member company Northern Tier Seed was approved for a FlexPACE loan in support of their $800,000 expansion. The EDC would like to congratulate this fast-growing county employer and their success.

7. Grand Forks County Town Hall

On Thursday, April 21, Brandon Baumbach emceed a public town hall meeting in Larimore. The meeting was a partnership between the EDC and the Red River Regional Council and was an opportunity to hear the findings of 15 rural Grand Forks County business owner/operator interviews that have been conducted as part of a regional business retention and expansion program. Input has been sought on COVID impacts, the state of the business community, and ideas for the future.

8. Senior Healthcare Innovation Consortium (SHIC)

The EDC has partnered with SHIC to be a founding member within the organization. The Senior Healthcare Innovation Consortium (SHIC) is a joint effort by healthcare providers, electronic health record specialists, higher education, and the business community to support disruption that can meet the challenges of the industry by researching existing and new technology.

9. AUVSI XPONENTIAL

UAS Sector Developmer Ron Ahlstrom and other regional UAS industry leaders attended the AUVSI Xponential conference in Orlando to network, experience new technology, and strike up new partnerships. The conference hosted booths for 234 companies, 8 states, and 5 countries that showcased their capabilities and technologies.

10. Space Ag Conference

The Space Ag Conference, hosted by UND on April 14, highlighted the global effort to improve agriculture production capabilities and develop technologies focused on sustainable solutions for the growing population crisis.


The EDC is preparing a monthly report on key regional economic indicators. Click here to see March’s Economy at a Glance.
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Top 10 – April 2022

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EDC Announces Wes Rydell as 2022 Impact Award Recipient

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