Strategic Partnerships

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Strategic Partnerships


The work we do relies on effective partnerships. Collaborations and connections are woven into each project and every measure of support we provide. From big collaborations like Fueling Our Future to smaller, lesser-known meetings of the minds. For example, we are working to gather researchers from area organizations to review, understand and take advantage of our various research capabilities. Most of the conversations we have with a primary-sector business end with our office connecting the company to a resource or partner to support their success or help them overcome an obstacle to growth.

Connecting Companies to the Defense Alliance

Local companies are creating new and valuable products, services, and technology that can support our national productivity and security. Our EDC has a unique opportunity through the Defense Alliance to give local primary-sector companies exposure to Federal Defense contract opportunities. Partnerships and connections that support company growth and maintain our nation’s security and …

  • Packet Digital
  • Elinor Coatings
  • ByteSpeed
  • Mid America Aerotech

Fueling Our Future (FOF) is a joint venture between the GFMEDC and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce that provides a platform for convening regional leaders to identify, understand, discuss and invest in macro-economic and community-based initiatives that will have lasting regional impacts. Within three categories: people, place, and prosperity, FOF focuses on big rock issues that affect and are important to the growth of the region and that cannot be done by one organization alone. A few of the bigger initiatives are: Certified Ready Site Program, support of Career Academies, Ignite workforce development program, and a recent leadership retreat.

Certified Ready Site Program

This program, organized and managed by the GFMEDC, markets sites that have much of the title work, zoning and environmental studies done or approved to speed up the process to

Career Academies

The career academies (one in Cass County and one in Moorhead) are, according to the Cass County Career Academy’s website, designed to “deliver workforce training and education that is more responsive to changing employer and student needs.”

Leadership Retreat

FOF assembled the region’s leaders to reassess the region’s opportunities and challenges and come away with three priority goals. Those three goals include:

  • The challenge of finding and attracting workers across all industry sectors, and the challenge of skill development and up-skilling
  • The importance of branding in any successful workforce attraction strategy
  • The concern that escalating housing prices and limited supply of affordable day care would affect the success of a workforce plan to attract talent


This workforce program, led by the Chamber, is a fully integrated workforce system of awareness, exploration, training, and development; our business will be able to meaningfully engage with their current and future talent pipelines.

VPP, an initiative led by the GFMEDC and the Grand Forks Regional EDC focuses on supporting and driving legislative change around university research, water security and workforce.

Success legislation with equity investments

The EDC has supported and partnered with Emerging Prairie since its inception. Emerging Prairie’s mission of connecting and celebrating the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem aligns well with the EDC’s macro-level work to nurture a strong, collaborative ecosystem and micro-level work of providing one-on-one support to our entrepreneurs. This synergy positively influences the shape and success of our regional ecosystem.

Grand Farm

The partnership with Emerging Prairie has expanded into collaborative efforts with their Grand Farm initiative. The EDC connects with the Grand Farm team on a nearly daily basis as we work together on projects, most often associated with supporting potential business development opportunities.

Our building and site demographic database is a great example of critical collaboration to support business development. We have partnered with COMEX, the local commercial real estate group to access their database of commercial properties. Those properties are included in our database, which is a robust mapping tool that allows prospective companies to layer on details like airports, hospital or tax zone information. When you layer on data, you can help a prospective company find the perfect location. Take a look!

“We appreciate our relationship with the Great Fargo Moorhead EDC and the ability to have the most up to date listing information available to potential businesses looking to come to our market.  The LOIS system provides great demographic information for us when recruiting new businesses to the area,” Claire O. Smith, COMEX President

Higher Education

The greater FM region is blessed to have one of the nation’s most unique and long-lasting collaborations in higher education – Tri-College University. Celebrating its 50th year, it offers any student within the region’s five higher education institutions the opportunity to take classes for credit at the other institutions. By doing so, students have more options to further the completion of their degree and to connect to the thousands of employers in our region looking for talented graduates.

The EDC works closely with each of our higher education institutions, including having each organizations’ presidents serving on the EDC Board.

The following captures just a few examples of how our relationships with regional higher education institutions support our mission to serve primary-sector companies:

EDC staff serve on the Concordia led Moorhead Community Resilience Task Force.

EDC staff serve on the university’s strategic planning advisory council.

Our organization has connected with MState and employers to discuss available training for maintenance technicians.

EDC staff often work closely with the NDSU research community, particularly in the precision ag and ag tech programs and have made connections with quite a few companies for research partnerships.

EDC staff serve on the TrainND advisory board creating additional opportunities to hear from industry leaders regarding workforce needs.

And it doesn’t stop there, we have many partnerships, one-off collaborations and connections that translate into a stronger, more diverse economy and higher quality of life.

Cass County Electric
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