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Published May 10, 2012, 10:22 PM

William Marcil, Sr. rallying business owners to boost economic development

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) - It was a surprise announcement by the chairman of Forum Communications, parent company of WDAY. William Marcil, Sr. presented a big gift to the region during an economic development meeting in Grand Forks.

It was a surprise announcement by the chairman of Forum Communications, parent company of WDAY. William Marcil, Sr. presented a big gift to the region during an economic development meeting in Grand Forks.

William Marcil hopes that seed money will blossom into a new level of economic development up and down the valley. He is rallying business owners to come up with a plan and work with both the Fargo Moorhead and Grand Forks East Grand Fords economic development corporations.

William Marcil, Sr. – Chairman, Forum Communication: "The different communities have sort of gone off in their own. There's not a valley wide strategic plan and I see this as a plan to bring the communities together, bring the valley together and have the same goals and objectives."

A study will be conducted with major emphasis placed on NDSU and UND.

Jack Dalrymple – North Dakota Governor: "They will be the drivers of our new economic activity as we go forward."

Hal Gershman – Grand Forks City Council: "Their research capabilities will be coming more together and people will be more aware of what's available here and that will attract private enterprise."

A major goal of the economic plan: create new jobs.

William Marcil, Sr.: "Create jobs and of course along with that goes quality of life."

Governor Dalrymple: "Very high quality, high paying jobs for North Dakotans."

Marcil hopes this is just the beginning of increased collaboration between red river valley communities. Leaders say the red river valley needs to raise its national profile - to let people know there's more to offer than just oil in North Dakota.

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