The Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC manages a robust Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program to better understand the local business climate. Visits with leaders at regional primary-sector companies allow GFMEDC staff to communicate available programs and learn about each company’s activities and potential challenges. Mark Vaux, executive vice president business development, meets with about 15 businesses in Cass and Clay County each month.
“One of the more enjoyable parts about doing these visits is meeting new companies and people. The diversity is really interesting as we can visit with a software developer one minute and an agricultural manufacturer the next,” Vaux said.
Kicking off March, Vaux met with leaders at two companies. The first was with Jeff Davis, manager, Identity Ag in Casselton. Identity Ag cleans, packages, and ships non-GMO soybeans and wheat. They are also a certified organic processor for soybeans and wheat with around 95% of all products shipping internationally.
The meeting focused on ways to support the company’s growth including hiring new employees and a possible new purchase of equipment. The GFMEDC can assist with both through various programs and staff support. Identity Ag has eight employees and is looking to add about three more.
Vaux also met with Tom Boyle, President of D & M Industries located in Moorhead. D&M specializes in doors, millwork, windows, cabinets, frames and hardware for many types of building projects nationwide. These projects include residential housing, hotel-motel, assisted living and multi-family housing.
As a Moorhead business, Boyle emphasized the importance of engaging the Moorhead community and Minnesota as a whole. D & M Industries employs 111, and the company is seeking qualified new employees.
The BRE visits have confirmed that workforce continues to be a challenge for many regional companies.
“Workforce needs continue to be the largest issue we face as a community for sustainable growth, both in terms of recruiting new talent to our region and providing training for the existing workforce,” Vaux said.
Through BRE visits, the GFMEDC continues to build relationships with regional companies connecting them with resources and gaining valuable insight into the regional economic landscape.