The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Twenty-Three — The Globalization of Fargo, North Dakota by Adam Wilson
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and the Fargo-Moorhead area is no exception. The metro area of Fargo has grown to over 200,000 in recent years and this influx of people has led to a global presence in demographics which is being seen through restaurants, small businesses, and education. Fargo’s early immigrants were of white Scandinavian European origin but since 1990 the foreign born population has more than doubled. This new population includes one in three of these foreign born immigrants arriving from Bosnia and significant numbers of Vietnamese and Somali populations have also increased since turn of the decade.
The arrival of new immigrants from such countries, have impacted the metro area in many ways. A major and unique asset to new immigrants in Fargo is the Immigration Development Center which states its purpose as “to increase the understanding of diversity in Fargo-Moorhead and provide assistance for ethnically diverse populations to get involved in the community.” The center has raised enough money and interest to fill 12 proposed business locations. The “Global Market” which is the projects name has 28 applications by new Americans to take part in the 12 proposed businesses. There are currently around five to six local businesses owned and operated by Bosnian immigrants one of which is the Bosnian House Restaurant. The development center has sighted access to schools, jobs and low crime rates as some of the incentives that attract and keep immigrants in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The globalization of the agriculture industry has been one of the major factors for North Dakota’s increased international trading. Some companies located in Fargo that do international business include: Bueling Incorporated-Germany, Dakota Export LLC-Finland and Russia, and Red River Commodities- Spain, Turkey and Israel. These companies play roles in exporting machinery and profitable crops grown in the state. Exporting plants such as these also on average pay their employees up to 18% more than non-exporting plants. These jobs are increasing in the state and especially in Fargo and they provide a good example of the increase role that globalization plays even in relatively small Midwest’s economies. It also remains to be seen whether the increased exports of North Dakotan multinational companies will start to play larger roles in the cultural make up of business hubs such as Fargo.
The advancements made in communication technology means that our globe is getting smaller and more intimate every day. Cities such as Fargo are at cusp of learning how to integrate a more global society into their already prospering economy. By attracting global professionals in the fields of medicine and education Fargo also has a number of well trained foreign born professionals that have essential roles at the metros colleges and hospitals. As the city continues to grow the diversity of its culture will develop and hopefully become an attractive hub for diverse businesses and restaurants.
For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see https://mgjnorthstarproject.wordpress.com/
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see http://www2.css.edu/app/depts/HIS/historyjournal/index.cfm?cat=10
The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We gratefully acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also warmly welcome Duluth East High School and Dodge Middle School to our collaborative program.
Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:
Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world. We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.
Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year
(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.