August 4, 2023
The Walsh County Job Development Authority (WCJDA) has entered into a partnership with the Red River Regional Council for professional staff and fiscal management services through 2026.
The Walsh County JDA assists businesses with securing financing and provides interest buy down funding opportunities for new and expanding businesses in Walsh County. The WCJDA board consists of 12 members from across Walsh County who share a vision of growing our communities and providing the means to do so.
“We are very excited to partner with the Red River Regional Council,” said Julie Gemmill, WCJDA Board Chair. “We want to make sure that our Walsh County communities continue to thrive and look forward to collaborating with the Regional Council to address concerns with workforce development, housing and childcare.”
The WCJDA becomes the third JDA to contract in this manner with the Regional Council. The Regional Council has been providing contracted staff to Nelson and Pembina County JDAs since their inception some 30+ years ago. Together, the four organizations have been building and supporting shared goals around workforce development and attraction and destination development/visitor attraction over the past several years.
A full-time executive director will be hired to serve Walsh County while Lori Estad will provide office and fiscal management support. Estad has 27 years of organization and grant fiscal management experience with the Regional Council. The Walsh County JDA will now be supported by a team of six full-time and two part-time professionals with more than 125 years of relevant experience in rural development.
“We are excited to link arms with the WCJDA,” said Dawn Mandt, Regional Council Executive Director. “Through the JDA partnerships, we are able to provide a cohesive, regional development approach and an extraordinary team that is driven for results.”
In 2022, the Regional Council team assisted in developing 79 funding requests which led to securing $8.3 million and leveraging an additional $4.3 million for a total regional investment of $12.7 million. The Regional Council also hired experts in housing development and workforce attraction/development in the past year and is in the middle of developing a five-year regional comprehensive economic development strategy for northeastern North Dakota.
Angelle French, the former Walsh County JDA director, transitioned to lead the Pembina County JDA in early 2023.
The RRRC is accepting applications for the role of executive director of the Walsh County JDA through Wednesday, August 16, and plans to interview candidates on August 21. An application and informational packet can be found on the RRRC website here or by contacting Lori Estad, Office Manager, at Lori@redriverrc.com, or Dawn Mandt, Executive Director, Dawn@redriverrc.com or by calling 701-352-3550.