BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Bobcat Co. is hoping that its new research and development facility in Bismarck will help it snatch up engineering talent from North Dakota universities.
Young engineers going to schools such as North Dakota State University in Fargo often leave the state for work in cities such as Minneapolis, President Rich Goldsbury told The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1sqLDU0 ). The West Fargo-based company that makes light construction equipment hopes the Bismarck center will attract those people, and also engineers in the field who want to come back to North Dakota.
"This building is state of the art in the industry," Goldsbury said.
Bobcat has invested $28 million in its Acceleration Center at the Northern Plains Commerce Center in Bismarck. The company scheduled a grand opening ceremony on Tuesday for the two-story, 190,000-square-foot facility on 22 acres of land.
The center has office and lab space, classrooms, and indoor and outdoor demonstration areas. The 175 employees will do design, prototype engineering, prototype manufacturing, computer simulation and testing of ideas and concepts.
"This is a groundbreaking facility for our company," Goldsbury said.
Bobcat bills itself as North Dakota's largest manufacturer. It also has sites in Fargo, Gwinner and Wahpeton. It closed its manufacturing plant in Bismarck in December 2009 — laying off nearly 500 workers — but later opened a support center in the city and broke ground in May 2013 for the Acceleration Center.