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JSDC approves marketing plan

The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approved a new marketing and communications plan with the goal of adding to the region's workforce and recruiting new businesses.

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The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approved a new marketing and communications plan with the goal of adding to the region's workforce and recruiting new businesses.

The plan has a not-to-exceed cost of $47,000 over six months of operations. The JSDC may withdraw from the project at any time and pay only for the hours of work performed to that point.

The plan now moves to the Jamestown City Council and Stutsman County Commission for review and final action.

Maria Effertz Hanson, client and project manager for AE2S, which submitted the plan, told the JSDC Board of Directors Monday that the goal was to find people who had moved to Jamestown and learn what brought them to the area in order to find ways to attract more people.

"There is a reason they came, there is a reason they stayed," she said. "We need to find the people who've come here and tell their story."

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Bob Toso, JSDC board member and chairman of the marketing subcommittee, said targeting the message seemed like a good tactic when AE2S made its presentation to the subcommittee.

"We've talking workforce forever," said Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC. "It is time to take action."

Effertz Hanson said a similar approach had been used in a marketing plan for Grand Forks. The plan used the phrase "way cooler than you think," and combined website content, social media strategy and content, advertising and direct mail components.

The plan document provided by AE2S said the intent was to provide a method for implementing the 2017 Strategic Plan objectives the JSDC had formulated as its mission and goals.

The marketing plan will tailor messages for varying target audiences as a way to recruit workers and businesses to the community.

In other business, the JSDC approved Flex PACE interest buy downs for Mid Mach and Legume Matrix.

Mid Mach is a metal working machine shop in Jamestown that is expanding and adding additional equipment.

"We're expanding for increased productivity and new product lines," said Keith Veil, president of Mid Mach.

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Legume Matrix is adding additional automated equipment to its processing line where it bags food grade legumes and peas for the international market. It will also add a production line producing 2-pound bags of legumes for the domestic market, said Kevin Haas, owner of the company.

The Flex PACE program includes a loan of up to $86,000 from the JSDC and a grant of up to $200,000 to reduce the interest rate to as low as 1 percent on the business loans funding the expansion projects.

The local JSDC loan is repaid by the business after the debt incurred during the expansion is repaid.

The JSDC Board of Directors also approved a third term for Gerald Horner and a second term for Marlee Siewert on the JSDC Board. Members of the board are allowed up to three two-year terms.

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