Wednesday, February 21, 2007

LM Glasfiber on the move

The Herald has a story in today's paper about the continuing expansion of the LM Glasfiber factory in Grand Forks. The company's current round of hirings will bring total employment to around 800.

The factory opened in 1998. By last summer, employment stood at about 320. In less than a year, they have grown to over 700 and will now be at 800. They have more than doubled employment within the last year. That is amazing growth. LM Glasfiber has become an integral part of the local economy and they seem to be one of our brightest hopes for continued growth in the future.

I have heard mention that the company has practically run out of room at their current facility. I have also heard talk that a new LM Glasfiber research/development facility might be in the works for Grand Forks. If both of these things are the case, could the company be planning construction of a new factory campus in the near future? The Industrial Park doesn't currently have enough space to accomodate a large new complex. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the city has been talking about expanding the Industrial Park.

In my opinion, the city of Grand Forks should be willing to do just about anything to retain this company and to help it continue its impressive growth.


C. Y. said...

I'd like to see a comparison to the entry level pay at places like LM Glassfiber and housing expenses in GF.

Any one have an idea?

If we want to attract people to GF, jobs and housing are the way to do it.

Tip dependant pay like those at all the new eating places in GF just ain't gonna cut it.

(not meant to take anything away from the LM Glassfiber expansion, I'm just curious)

Anonymous said...

With housing costs, rarely is the cost of housing 20 minutes from GF discussed. Many towns beyond the Manvel/Emerado/Thompson/Fisher arc have significantly depressed housing prices. Towns beyond that will only rise as GF's economy increases. GF city housing prices are not the sole determining factor in local housing costs.

And if people complain about 20 minutes, consider the hour commutes in traffic that nearly the majority of American citizens have to endure.

GF city housing is not the only choice for GF workers.

Jeni.Ann said...

Part of the problem, though, of looking to 20+ minutes out of Grand Forks housing is the possibilty of never being able to sell the property again once you own it.

There was a nice home in Northwood that I was looking at, but noticed that it had been on the market for 536 days. That tells me that things just aren't moving, and I don't want to get saddled with a property I can't sell if I have to move for employment later.

Anonymous said...

As Grand Forks grows, property in Northwood could actually appreciate faster as housing prices and housing demand increases in GF city. Western GF County has been depopulated over the last several decades (especially with the GFAFB cutbacks) and it will take time for the excess housing to be absorbed by buyers from the GF market. It is a risk to buy out there, but it may well be worth it. Further west like into Nelson County is probably beyond any extended commuter housing arc that would form.

It would be interesting to study the housing markets in rural Cass County, which is probably two decades ahead of G.F. county patterns. Casselton, which used to be considered quite a commute, now subdivisions are being built there. Almost the entirety of Cass County is now considered commutable.

C. Y. said...

I understand what you mean by looking outside of GF, but with the commute comes vehicles, vehicle maintainence and expenses. If the job won't cover the living expenses, it won't matter where you live or commute from.

Again a bunch of advice with no figures. Maybe 2E at city beat knows or can find out.

Anonymous said...

In Cass County, many of the people who live in further out have jobs that require considerable travel or work at home type positions, where commuting doesn't matter that much. Also, the lifestyle is and conveniences are considerably different. To live out in the country or smaller town, one would need to be well organized.

Good Ol' Boy said...

Let's look at that commute thing:
Assume two people driving two cars(no one works the same hours). 15 miles one way, 22 days a month and use a figure of $.41 a mile cost of operation. That's 1320 miles a month, at a total cost of $541.20
Now move to town, say a three mile drive to work. Everything else equal, you're down to 264 miles at $.41 for a cost of $108.24 a month.
$400 dollar difference a month. Now add in that you're home in ten minutes tops, can get pizza delivered, the store's five minutes away if you need something, the streets are paved (take that Thompson) and plowed, leaves are picked up, the housing market is active, well, the list goes on and on. I did the whole rural thing for most of my life. I think I'll take living in town now.