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Employment and Life in Grand Forks ND - and Cheap Car Insurance

Updated on November 11, 2013
Downtown Grand Forks
Downtown Grand Forks | Source

Green and Growing

Grand Forks, North Dakota holds the 21st place on the list of Top 30 Cities for Jobs in the US, despite the economic recession for 2008 - 2009. industry and jobs continue to grow through to 2016, based on good city and regional planning efforts and the input of the local Chamber of Commerce, businesses, and higher education.

Green3 Grand Forks

The three initiatives in the greening of Grand Forks are 1) saving money, 2) increasing efficiency, and 3) cleaning the environment and keeping it sustainable.

The popular magazine Country Home ranks Grand Forks as 52 out of all the cities in America for its level of sustainability. The city has a major 12-Point Plan of action for improving the environment. These points include a Greenway of open space and plants, green transportation in public transit, recycling, and purchasing Energy Star appliances in city government as well as other features.

The Not OK Campaign

This action plan targets underage drinking in the Greater Grand Forks Area and is achieving considerable success. The program even offers classes to servers of alcohol to help them in this type of prevention.

Lighting the Way Home

This is a program to treat and prevent homelessness in the region, As inner cities are revitalized, the circumstance of homelessness must become a top priority. Some of these individuals can be trained for good employment opportunities formed in the new urban areas and throughout the city. Since 2007, Grand Forks has advanced on a, increasingly successful plan for ending homelessness in the county.

The Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks MN is named after the moose in the area (not blue, though).
The Blue Moose restaurant in East Grand Forks MN is named after the moose in the area (not blue, though). | Source

Founded Because They Were Stuck

Downtown Grand Forks is the original trade center of the city, located on the west bank of the Red River of the North. (as opposed to the one in the Southwest). Downtown sits near the fork of the Red River and the Red Lake River, across form East Grand Forks Minnesota a d connected by foot and vehicle bridges. Today, it is the refurbished historic area of town, with many sites int eh US National Historic Registry. After a devastating flood in 1997 that destroyed this area, it was further reconstructed to include new offices, retail outlets, restaurants, taverns, and entertainment venues.

From 1900 – 1950s, Downtown was a huge commercial hub on the waterfront and the center of health car3e and shipping. In the latter part of the 20th Century, urban renewal began in earnest. In the 1960s and 1970s multiple blocks were demolished to make way for offices, an auditorium, and City Center Mall placed under roof. Downtown stagnated in the 1980s and 1990s until the 1997 flood that spurred redevelopment into the 21st Century.

Grand Forks was founded almost “by mistake” after the Civil War in 1870, the railroad came through in 1880 - 1887, and the city was incorporated in 1881. Alexander Griggs, captaining a riverboat on the Red River, found his steamboat frozen solid in the water in 1870. He and his crew had to spend the winter with no means of chopping their ship out of the ice, so they created a community and stayed. A federal post office was established and in 1883, the University of North Dakota was founded.

Grand Forks had also been a busy hub of activity for the area's Native Americans before the arrival of European settlers. French explorers and trappers named the forks in the conjoined rivers Les Grandes Fourches and made it a major trading post with the Natives in 1740. As Griggs and other settlers appeared, the area became a thriving center for multicultural trade.

Greater Grand Forks Area

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Grand Forks, ND, USA
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B markerEast Grand Forks MN -
East Grand Forks, MN, USA
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Incentives to Attract New Businesses

Grand Forks has offered the following stimulus items to attract new companies to its metro area, winning recognition and new economic growth:

  • Achieved spot #21 in America for Best Small Metro Area in Business & Careers - Forbes, 2013. This represents a continual rise in rank since 2005.
  • Lowest taxes for a manufacturing & food processing facility found in Grand Forks.
  • Lowest Worker's Compensation employer costs in the USA since 2004.

Additional Incentives

  • University of North Dakota is ranked 14 out of 375 for Entrepreneurial Undergraduate Campuses, above even renowned Stanford University, by Forbes & The Princeton Review.
  • City ranks among the Top 100 Communities for Young People since 2005.
  • North Dakota is recognized as the 5th Top State for Children by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  • One of the Top 10 Cheapest Car Insurance rates on average in USA.
  • The 2nd least expensive place in America to own and maintain an automobile.

Expanded Incentives

UND established business components in its Energy and Environmental Research Center and Renewable Energy Center to create new industries and new jobs. Its successful technology incubator is The Center for Innovation. In order to commercialize the university's research to grow the local economy, the leadership has built a research park onf campus. UND has also helped in securing the mission of the Unmanned Arial Vhicle (UAV) for nearby Grand Forks Air Force Base after its realignment. Thus, business, higher education, and the government partner for an increased standard of living and better pay in 1000s of new jobs.

North Dakota State University and UND partner in theRed River Valley Research Corridor in order to improve the impact of their efforts. East Grand Forks adds Northland Community and Technical College with a satellite campus in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and major expansion planned after 2009. Another nearby research school is the University of Minnesota at Crookston.

Top 10 Largest Employers

  1. Altru Health System - Healthcare - Largest employer in the State of North Dakota and in Grand Forks.
  2. University of North Dakota (2nd largest company in the state), UND Medical School and University of Minnsota.
  3. Grand Forks Air Force Base
  4. Grand Forks Public Schools
  5. Valley Memorial Homes
  6. LM Windpower (formerly Glasfiber) - manufacture of Wind Turbines
  7. John D. Odegard School of Aerospace - Part of UND
  8. JR Simplot - Food processing.
  9. Riverview Health Care System
  10. - Books, Records, MP3 and more.

Largest Area Industries

  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Retail Trade
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction

Fastest Growing Industry Sectors

  • Agriculture & Food Manufacture and Processing, with sustainable methods
  • The University of North Dakota (UND) - Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
  • UND - Renewable Energy.

High Demand Job Titles

  1. Software Engineers
  2. Truck Drivers and Local Delivery Drivers
  3. Registered Nurses
  4. General Dentists
  5. Physicians
  6. Healthcare Technicians
  7. Restaurant Jobs
  8. Dental Assistants and Dental Hygienists
  9. Lab Technicians
  10. Retail Sales Consultants
  11. Merechandisers
  12. Automotive Technicians

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

  1. Office and Administrative Support
  2. Sales - Retail and Wholesale
  3. Management, all levels
  4. All Food Prep and Service jobs
  5. Transportation and Material Moving
  6. Production & Manufacturing - particularly food manufacturing and processing.
  7. Construction and Extraction
  8. Healthcare Practitioners, Technologists, and Technicians
  9. Education & Training (E&T) - includes Library Services.
  10. Personal Care and Service, i.e. Home Health Adies


The first Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System on the northern border of North Dakota, at Grand Forks US Air Force Base.
The first Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System on the northern border of North Dakota, at Grand Forks US Air Force Base.

Emory-Riddle Aeronautical University

HIgher Education

Sports Teams

  • North Dakota Fighting Sioux - High school level, Grand Forks
  • University of North Dakota - Fighting Sioux at Grand Forks. Potato Bowl (football) played in the fall. A dozen different sports for men and women.

Predator drone
Predator drone

Greater Grand Forks Greenway

The huge Great Grand Forks Greenway is home to 2,200 acres of open space between Grand Forks ND and East Grand Forks MN.

The greenway offers many well kept parks, a campground, golf courses, disc golf courses, biking, winter sports like cross country skiing and snowmobiling, 20+ miles of paved and unpaved trails, shorebank fishing and other features. Two foot bridges join the two cities and the greenway in between. It's all funded with tax dollars.

Some areas of native grasses are left unmowed for a natural ecosystem. These are used for special childrens' learning activites, such as birdwatching and identification.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Jean - call your City Hall or your nearest public Library and they sould have a listing for the humber to call for help. They often have the forms to fill out at the Library.

    • profile image

      jean nelson 8 years ago

      where do you answer where to get emergency heating assistance

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Unemployment is at only 3.5% in North Dakota, while the nation soars to over 8% in Feb 2009. This means jobs are available in ND.