Partnerships in Higher Education and the Public Sector

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Partnerships in Higher Education and the Public Sector

Partnering to Support a Strong Talent Pipeline

Strong partnerships and collaborations with higher education are critical to a vibrant and growing economic development ecosystem. The region is fortunate to have strong representation of higher education providing research, innovation and a strong pipeline of talent.

It’s easy to focus on the big results from our collaborations. Like the NDSU-Led FARMS initiative through which the region was awarded the National Science Foundation ENGINES $160 Million grant. Our organization has also supported Concordia College’s efforts to gain an NSF grant to support a needs-based program to attract students into biotechnology careers. Concordia College’s CLIMB programs aims to provide scholarships to 12 students annually through Fall of 2026.

While those are impressive examples of the results of our collaboration, we often work “behind the scenes” with higher education in many ways. For example, we’ve participated in an Advanced Manufacturing Symposium to explore workforce strategies, and we’ve offered free student passes to students from all area colleges to the BioDefense Summit.

Our organization has also supported K-12 by connecting industry partners to the Moorhead Career Academy to support curriculum development and establish talent pipelines to local businesses.

Through many interactions, partnerships and collaborations, we’ve come together to drive big results.






Collaborating with Local Leadership to support economic growth

At the local level, leadership from Clay and Cass Counties and the cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo serve on our Board of Directors and provide great leadership directing our mission to serve the region. Our organization connects businesses to local leaders to overcome any barriers to primary-sector company success and to work on incentives and support that drives the foundational growth that primary-sector companies provide.

For example, using technology to collaborate with city leaders to serve their companies. We’ve also partnered with the City of West Fargo’s Economic Development Manager through our Business Retention & Expansion program to reach a record-18 primary-sector companies throughout the city. By jointly engaging in outreach communications, site visits, and follow-up assistance we identified nine possible expansion opportunities in the community amounting to over $13 million in capital investment. This collaboration has laid the foundation for how public partners and the GFMEDC can work together to achieve mutual goals of growing the local economy.

Partnership to assist city partners with tracking ROI on city-based incentives:

  • GFMEDC built technology platform designed to track job creation and average wages against incentive-approved agreements.
  • Free development of program offered to cities via Salesforce community portal that GFMEDC administers.
  • Currently in pilot with City of Fargo with services available to all city partners in 2024.

Add to that our ongoing work with the states of Minnesota and North Dakota officials and staff, and you’ll find our ecosystem rivals any market in the nation.





West Fargo

Cass County


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