FARGO (AP) - Officials with a state-funded program that aims to turn research on North Dakota college campuses into jobs are touting their private donations.
The North Dakota Centers of Excellence Commission says the nearly $40 million in state funds that have gone toward the program attracted matching investments of $157 million from 185 companies in six years.
The Forum reports that the program has been credited with creating 973 jobs at an estimated annual payroll of $52.1 million.
Mark Nisbet, an Xcel Energy executive and chairman of the commission, says the Centers of Excellence are supporting businesses that are making investments in North Dakota.
Nisbet cites a decision by Caterpillar to invest $50 million to expand its plant in West Fargo, to have access to expertise at North Dakota State University.