Eleven new monetary commitments came in over the past week for a proposed technical academy in Grand Forks, bringing the total raised for the project past $7 million.

The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. on Friday announced the latest donations, including three of more than $100,000. They include:

  • Grand Forks Public Schools, $500,000.
  • Hal and Kathleen Gershman Family Foundation/Harry's Steakhouse, $125,000.
  • Minnkota Power Cooperative, $100,000.
  • Alerus Financial, $50,000.
  • Northern Plumbing Supply, $50,000.
  • Steffes Corporation, $50,000.
  • Vilandre Heating, AC and Plumbing, $50,000.
  • Dakota Sales Co., $25,000.
  • Jeff and Janelle Regimbal, $10,000.
  • UND Foundation, $10,000.
  • Skinner Roofing, $10,000.

This week's donations bring the total raised to more than $7.5 million. Another $1.3 million in verbal commitments also exist, pending final approval, according to the EDC.

Backers are racing to raise $10 million in community contributions in order to unlock $10 million in state funding. The deadline to reach the $10 million is Dec. 1.

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The idea behind the project is to provide students, teens and adults, real-world training in hopes of filling in-demand jobs in Greater Grand Forks and the region. The chosen location for the facility is on Grand Forks' north end, near the intersection of Highway 2 and Interstate 29.

“Fostering a vibrant community takes all of us," Chris Wolf, president of Alerus Financial's northern valley market, said in a statement released by the EDC. "By connecting students with in-demand training they can apply toward career opportunities in our area, this project has the potential to positively impact our students, our employers, and our overall regional economy, and we’re proud to support it."

Fundraising efforts began in early October. On Oct. 8, Altru Health System kicked off the campaign with a donation of $1 million. In the weeks since, numerous local businesses, families and government entities have donated.