Eight Grand Forks businesses have made Prairie Business magazine’s annual list of the 50 Best Places to Work in 2019.

Now in its fifth year, the highly anticipated list is compiled by the magazine each year.

Prairie Business received 1,400 nominations from across the region, up from last year’s total of 1,300. Those who nominate businesses are urged to consider a range of factors, such as employer benefits, workplace culture and employee morale.

The Grand Forks businesses that made the list are AE2S, Alerus, Altru Health System, Construction Engineers, EAPC Architects Engineers, the Energy and Environment Research Center, Minneapolis-based JLG Architects, which was founded in Grand Forks, and Border States Electric, which also began in Grand Forks.

“Each year it seems we’re awed by the number of nominations we receive,” said Korrie Wenzel, publisher of Prairie Business. “This year, it has happened again. And after reading through the nominations, it is hard not to be impressed by the passionate comments made by so many employees at these great companies.”

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Construction Engineers, which employs about 90 people, and is located 200 N. 69th St., made the list for the third year in a row.

“I think for us, it’s been very useful in helping our folks pay attention to our culture internally and the things that we do, and how that relates directly to being able to recruit interns and to retain quality employees,” said Mike Dunn, business development manager for Construction Engineers. “It seems like we have pretty good working relationships with each other, and it’s pretty serious business, but we know you have got to have fun and just make things easy to get along.”


Financial firm Alerus also was awarded with a coveted spot on the list. The firm employs more than 800 people and has appeared on the list previously.

“We are honored and thrilled to once again be named a Prairie Business Top 50 Workplace,” said Chris Wolf, president for the Northern Valley market at Alerus Financial. “We believe our employees are our greatest asset, and this award is a testament to the commitment and passion of our team. Our culture is one based on trust, respect, collaboration and doing the right thing, all of which contribute to being a top workplace.”

EAPC Architects Engineers, 3100 DeMers Ave., was another Grand Forks business that has made the list over multiple years.

“To me, there’s a lot of awards that architecture and engineering firms can go after, and a lot of them, quite frankly, are industry awards. It’s architects and engineers patting themselves on the back on what a good job they did for a building design,” said Alan Dostert, president and CEO of EAPC Architects Engineers. “Those are important, and I don’t want to minimize those. However, this type of award ... is way more important to me than those, because this comes from our employees. … We as stock-holders, as bosses, try our best to do what’s best for 135 families that rely on us to make good decisions, and the fact that we have their trust, that’s pretty meaningful to me.”

Altru Health System was also awarded a spot on the list as well.

"I’m thankful for our entire team at Altru for creating a culture where people can find meaning in their work and enjoy what they do," said Altru Chief People and Strategy Officer, Kellee Fisk. "This recognition gives us an opportunity to celebrate them for their hard work and dedication in creating a great place to work."

Prairie Business magazine has served as the only business-to-business magazine dedicated to the Northern Plains region for more than 17 years. The publication distributes more than 20,000 digital and print copies monthly. The magazine focuses on success and opportunities in North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota. It covers a variety of topics, ranging from higher education, finance, agribusiness, energy and health care.

Winners of the 50 Best contest will be honored in the magazine, which is available online at www.prairiebusinessmagazine.com.