Grand Forks tech academy secures another $645,000 in local contributions
The local total now has reached $6.5 million, with three weeks to go before the deadline to reach $10 million.
A proposed technology academy in Grand Forks received another $645,000 in donations this week, pushing the total received so far well past $6 million.
The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. on Friday morning said 11 new commitments were received over the past few days, including:
- Rydell GM Auto, $150,000
- Acme Tools, $125,000
- Custom Aire, $100,000
- Bears Home Solutions, $50,000
- Choice Bank, $50,000
- Pro Transport and Leasing, $50,000
- R.J. Zavoral and Sons, $50,000
- Greenberg Realty, $25,000
- Northstar Insulation, $10,000
- CPS, Ltd., $10,000
"We continue to be inspired by the level of industry support for this critically important workforce development project," said Keith Lund, CEO and president of the EDC. "This is one of the most rewarding developments I've had the pleasure to work (on) because I believe the Career Impact Academy will have such a positive impact on students and industry in the region."
This week's donations have pushed the total of private donations to $6.5 million. A steering committee is tasked with raising $10 million of local contributions to unlock a $10 million grant from the state. To qualify, the dollars must be secured by Dec. 1. The EDC reports that another $3 million in local contributions could be considered "pending requests."
The academy is proposed to be built on the city's north end, near the intersection of Highway 2 and Interstate 29. The idea behind it is to provide students – teens and adults alike – with technical education that will help them quickly become college-ready or job-ready, and especially for high-demand careers in the region. Local research, state data and anecdotal evidence shows the region is in the midst of a worker shortage, with hundreds of jobs open locally and thousands open throughout the state.
The EDC has been announcing the project's fundraising progress each Friday morning since Oct. 8, when an initial gift of $1 million by Altru Health System essentially kicked off the drive. It's the project's highest single donation to date.