Fundraising for a technical academy in Grand Forks has surpassed the $10 million mark, meaning it will be eligible for an equal amount of match dollars from the state.
The announcement came Monday afternoon from the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., which took on fundraising responsibilities for the burgeoning project.
“There is still much work to do but I think we should take a moment to celebrate and reflect on how fortunate we are to live and work in a region where the school district, city, county, civic organizations and over 60 businesses will come together under a common cause to make a positive impact on our future,” said Keith Lund, the EDC's president and CEO. “I couldn’t be prouder of the steering committee members and many volunteers who worked hard who make this happen.”
The committee announced last week that it has $9.6 million in hand from local donations. Monday, the EDC sent a release saying it has surpassed the goal, but wasn't yet ready to publicly announce the latest round of donors. That will come later in the week, most likely on Friday, according to Lund.
Lund planned to speak about reaching the milestone Monday evening at meetings of the City Council and Grand Forks School Board.
Notably, two major donations of $1 million helped spur the project. Altru Health System's $1 million was one of the first donations, while Sanford Health's $1 million came last week and was a catalyst that put the fundraising on the home stretch toward its $10 million goal.
Sanford's gift was one of 15 collected last week, a seven-day span that saw commitments totaling $2.2 million. It was the biggest week of the fundraising drive, which began roughly 10 weeks ago.
Overall, fundraisers have commitments from more than 60 donors, including at least 24 donations of $100,000 or more.
The technical center, officially titled the Career Impact Academy, will offer a curriculum for student and adult learners to better prepare them for postsecondary education or for the workforce. The idea is to use the academy to help produce workers who can fill in-demand positions in the community and region.
The center, as described by the EDC, “will provide learners with real-world, hands-on learning spaces to explore high-wage, in-demand career fields in the Grand Forks region. The academy will offer students specialized training, allowing them to become career ready or college prepared.”