Business News: GF employment…EGF tax base & GFK travel


Skilled trades employers posted over 200,000 job openings in April 2023.  The construction workforce shortage tops more than half a million workers so far in 2023, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).  The industry needs to replace retirees and get younger generations interested in the skilled trades.  The shortages affect smaller projects, as well as large building construction.

Groundbreaking for the new Career Impact Academy has been set for October 2nd. The date coincides with the North Dakota CTE visit to Grand Forks for a five year evaluation of CTE programs.  The CIA will be located near the intersection of North 42nd Street and Gateway Drive.

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The latest report from North Dakota Job Service suggests Grand Forks posted employment gains of 1,900 in August compared to one year ago.  That was the largest of the three largest metro areas.  Fargo had a year over year employment increase of 1,000 while Bismarck was down 500.  In Grand Forks seven of the 12 major industries reported increases led by Government (+1,000)…Retail Trade (+500) and Professional and Business Services (+200).

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Minnesota gained 4,400 jobs from July to August and the labor force grew for a sixth straight month. Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 3.1% in August.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state’s job growth is likely constrained by our very tight labor market.

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The East Grand Forks EDA is partnering with The Chamber and the Praxis Group on a report that will focus on future economic development efforts.  EDA Director Paul Gorte says the current roadmap hasn’t been updated since 2018 despite changes in regulations and state laws since that time.  He says the goal is to implement a proactive strategy to grow the local tax base.  The Chamber and EDA will split phase one of study at a cost of $5,425 dollars.

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Air travel continues to take off at North Dakota’s eight commercial airports.  Boardings for the month of August hit 95,416 passengers.  That was up 12% compared to the same month last year.  Traffic through the Grand Forks Airport shot up 65% to 6,973.  One reason for the big jump is that a major runway construction project closed the airport to commercial traffic for 12 days in 2022.  Boardings at the GFK are up 9.74% in 2023.

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Governor Tim Walz will lead a trade mission to Australia, November 10-18, 2023. Stops include the major business centers of Sydney and Melbourne, with mission goals of growing the state’s exports of goods and services, showcasing Minnesota as a top destination for business investment.  In 2022, Australia ranked as Minnesota’s 13th largest market for goods with exports valued at $438 million.

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Final round interviews are scheduled on Tuesday with the three finalist for the open city administrator job in West Fargo.  The finalists, in alphabetical order:   Kelsey Baker, Shawn Kessel, and Dustin Scott.  The city received 40 applications for the position.

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Amazon’s Prime Video will begin showing ads during shows and movies early next year, joining other streaming services that have added different tiers of subscriptions. The company says that members of Amazon Prime can pay $2.99 per month in the U.S. to keep their service ad-free.

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Johnson & Johnson is signing off on a new logo, more than 130 years after creating the old one. The health care giant said Thursday that it will replace the well-known signature script with a modern look that reflects its sharpened focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

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