Bobcat will donate $5 million to a new Center for Engineering and Computational Sciences at North Dakota State University.
“As a company built on decades of engineering advancements, Bobcat is committed to investing in and developing the talent pool that will shape the next century of innovation,” said Mike Ballweber, president of Doosan Bobcat North America. “We are proud to support NDSU as they educate future engineers who are helping us transform how the world runs jobsites, builds cities and thinks about a sustainable future.”
Headquartered in West Fargo, North Dakota, Bobcat is the state’s largest manufacturer and a major employer with more than 3,750 employees at facilities in Bismarck, Gwinner, Fargo, West Fargo and Wahpeton. Bobcat is also one of the largest employers of NDSU graduates: more than 55% of all Bobcat engineers are NDSU alumni.
In addition to Bobcat’s $5 million donation, other corporate and private donations have been made. The private funds will be used to match the North Dakota Legislature’s appropriation of $59 million for the new center.
The new facility will foster multidisciplinary engineering education, provide advanced technology and encourage innovation and problem-solving in labs and collaborative workspaces.
“The College of Engineering plays a critical role in the state by educating the next generation of workforce, conducting research that matters to our economy and engaging with communities to work on problems and identify solutions that advance our society,” said Dave Cook, president of NDSU.
As Bobcat continues to grow its business, the growth cannot continue without the next generation of engineers. For more than 25 years, Doosan Bobcat’s competitive intern and co-op programs have employed hundreds of college students in electrical, mechanical, industrial, manufacturing and software engineering.
“Like other manufacturers and employers in the state, recruiting, growing and retaining a quality, skilled workforce is an ongoing challenge,” said Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Bobcat and an NDSU alumnus in mechanical engineering and agricultural and applied economics. “For Bobcat and other regional companies to remain competitive, we need the best and brightest engineers working across our sites.”
According to NDSU, 5,800 job openings in North Dakota last year required engineering degrees – but only 512 engineering and computer science students graduated from the state’s universities. Of the pool of North Dakota natives who graduate from NDSU, 80 percent stay for their first job – meaning there is an appetite among young professionals to remain local and impact the state economy.
Bobcat’s investment in NDSU students stretches back to 2005, when the company began a formal partnership by supporting NDSU’s technology incubator. Over the years, Bobcat has supported NDSU scholarships, equipment, robotics and STEM education.
For others interested in donating, please visit NDSU at givetondsu.com.