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Letter: Kennedy promoting vitality at UND

Last week, the Grand Forks Region EDC and UND jointly hosted the first Corporate Forum. It was a terrific event that showcased our region's strong business community and the important partnerships with our university and we were proud to be a partner in the effort.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of announcing InternGF alongside UND President Mark Kennedy, a joint effort between the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation and UND. The goal of the program is to offset the costs for businesses looking to take on new interns from UND.

UND's leadership in promoting local internships benefits students, who profit from experiential learning, and greater Grand Forks businesses because of the even stronger regional workforce pipeline enhanced through this innovative program.

As I said at the InternGF announcement in January, UND is our region's number one talent-attraction magnet. I have seen great effort from UND administration to make sure that the university continues to attract top talent from around the region and world.

The OneUND Strategic Plan has many goals that aim to enhance the student experiences on campus like increasing retention and graduation rates, delivering more educational opportunities online and on-campus, and meeting the needs of active-duty military personnel, veterans and their families.

The university is an important partner in the region's economic development efforts. In his time at UND, President Kennedy has been a great partner in our efforts to promote the economic vitality of the region. Kennedy often speaks of UND as the "chief opportunity engine" for the state of North Dakota, and he works diligently to make sure that is more than just a catchphrase.

UND is buzzing with strategic initiatives, forward-thinking students, faculty and administrators, and programs primed to take the university to new heights. Much credit goes to President Kennedy for his leadership since arriving in Grand Forks.

Keith Lund

President, CEO

Grand Forks Region EDC