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Ideal Aerosmith opens new GF facility

Ideal Aerosmith's newest facility in Grand Forks has doubled the company's local presence, a fact the management boasted Wednesday during an open house at its new building.

Ideal Aerosmith's newest facility in Grand Forks has doubled the company's local presence, a fact the management boasted Wednesday during an open house at its new building.

Gov. John Hoeven joined dozens of city and business leaders in celebrating the formal opening of the 20,000-square-foot facility at 3001 S. Washington St. that will house the company's senior management, shipping and production departments.

It's the sixth location for Ideal Aerosmith, a manufacturer of testing equipment for aircraft and missile components. The company's 19,000-square-foot facility in East Grand Forks, its headquarters since 1984, will remain open as well.

Hoeven said Ideal Aerosmith's expansion "reflects the new kinds of companies that we're getting across North Dakota" and in the region.

"These are the new, exciting, dynamic companies that are making things happen for not only our region but making things happen for our county," he said. "Small business is the backbone of our country, and we see it right here."

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This latest success is because of hard work and developing good local-state partnerships, Hoeven said.

"We're moving forward," he said. "We're moving up in terms of creating a dynamic economy and a growing economy and a more diversified economy."

Beefing up its presence in Grand Forks makes sense for Ideal Aerosmith, Hoeven said, because of the region's "strengths," including the John D. Odegard School for Aerospace Sciences at UND.

The company also develops technology that advances horizontal drilling accuracy -- something Hoeven said is being put to work in western North Dakota oil fields.

"It's happening here because there's so many people working together with that focus and that commitment, that vision of the future to keep making it happen," he said. "I submit to you as long as we keep working together, we're going to keep going forward."

Future growth

The newest building brings Ideal Aerosmith's local employee base to about 80 -- 40 each in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. The company also has research and development operations in the REAC 1 building on the UND campus, as well as facilities in Arizona, California and Pennsylvania.

Lisa Bernhardt, sales and marketing coordinator, said the new building will help the company reach more customers while allowing for future expansion.

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"It's a wonderful facility, and we are really glad to be here," she said. "It's wonderful to have room to grow, and that's what we're looking forward to."

Lonnie Rogers, co-chairman of the company's board, said there were only four people still with the company when he first came to East Grand Forks in 1984. Ideal Aerosmith now has about 130 employees in six locations, and the expansion means they've brought in 12 new workers.

The drastic growth over the past quarter century has even surprised Rogers, who described himself as an "optimistic" man.

"This has gone far beyond what I anticipated," he said, "and we now have opportunities to build far, far beyond that."

The newest facility basically doubles Ideal Aerosmith's presence in the area and has provided much-needed space for expansion. But President John Mohn issued a challenge to employees.

"Let's see how quickly we can fill this place up."

Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: JOHN HOEVENLOCAL BUSINESS
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