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Economic Development Corp. announces another $425,000 raised for Grand Forks' proposed tech academy

Donations came in this week from Northridge Construction, Construction Engineers, Crary Real Estate, the Lunn family, Dakota Commercial, Development Homes and Retrax.

Grand Forks Economic Development Corp sign logo
The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation is located in downtown Grand Forks. (Herald staff photo)

Seven donations totaling $425,000 came in this week to a proposed career technical academy in Grand Forks.

In an email sent Friday morning, the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. announced donations from:

  • Northridge Construction ($100,000)
  • Construction Engineers ($100,000)
  • Crary Real Estate ($50,000)
  • The Lunn family ($50,000)
  • Dakota Commercial ($50,000)
  • Development Homes ($50,000)
  • and Retrax ($25,000).

It brings the total of committed dollars to $5.8 million, the EDC reports, with an additional $3 million in pending requests. The committee tasked with raising the funds needs to secure $10 million by December to gain access to $10 million in state matching funds. Local dollars can be counted via cash, in-kind or property donations.
Various public entities have donated cash or land, but the largest business donation has come from Altru Health System, which pledged $1 million . Seven other local companies have donated at least $100,000 and several more have promised donations between $25,000 and $75,000. An anonymous donor pledged $150,000.

The proposed facility, dubbed the Career Impact Academy, is designed to provide student and adult learners specific studies and training to help better prepare them for in-demand jobs, and particularly jobs that are available in the Grand Forks region. Research shows that local employers point to a continuing workforce shortage as a central hurdle to their respective growth and also to economic development in the community in general.

Those who have donated have praised the idea in recent weeks, saying the academy can help ease the workforce issues that have gripped the region.

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Among the comments this week from the latest donors, as quoted by the EDC in a Friday morning press release:

Jon Miskavige, Northridge Construction president and CEO: “This is a great opportunity to support a much-needed trade pipeline for many industries. Northridge Construction is happy to partner in this endeavor.”

Scott Kringstad, president of Construction Engineers: “Construction Engineers is excited to continue support of our local economy and expanding our area’s skilled workforce is an integral component of our region’s growth. By supporting the Career Impact Academy, we are providing an opportunity to spark students’ interest in the skilled trades at a facility where they can be proud and confident about their career choice."

And Eric Lunn: “The Lunn family has been so blessed living in Grand Forks. Both our daughters received their K-12 education through the Grand Forks Public Schools and secondary education in the area and we have had a lifetime of fond experiences throughout the greater Grand Forks community. We feel so fortunate to be able to help further generations of students with this donation to the Career Impact Academy."

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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