JDA hears ideas to spark interest in Rugby | News, Sports, Jobs

The Rugby Job Development Authority board heard from two area realtors who presented marketing strategies for lots on the Chalmers Addition subdivision at their regular December meeting, held Dec. 7 in the JDA office.

Jeff and Chris Wahl, who represent Reign Realty, Devils Lake, told the JDA board they had plans to locate an office in Rugby.

Both realtors presented information on target marketing to help the city pinpoint potential buyers for Chalmers Lots. Jeff Wahl described how software applications could help Rugby reach young professionals in the medical, educational or industrial fields who are looking for new homes. Jeff Wahl noted he had come from an automotive sales background, where he built a successful business.

Jeff Wahl’s son, Chris, said he’s followed in his father’s footsteps. Chris Wahl gave examples of sales he has closed on properties both large and small in Devils Lake and eastern North Dakota.

“We want to show people they can afford to build a new home,” Chris Wahl said.

Both realtors agreed with JDA board members that future developments in town such as a new hospital slated for construction would attract new residents to Rugby.

JDA Executive Director Karl Frigaard shared plans to collect stories from local employers and employees about living and working in Rugby to spark interest in people considering moving to the community.

Frigaard told the board he wanted to use marketing dollars available to Rugby to “develop an interactive website with community interviews selling Rugby and its many attractions.” Frigaard added the money would come from comprehensive planning work.

Frigaard also told the board he had visited with area bankers and representatives of Gooseneck Implement to develop a marketing strategy to target potential workers. Frigaard added he was helping Gooseneck to set up a revolving loan fund to help with financial needs that may crop up.

Developing an interactive website to market Rugby to potential residents and businesses was another idea discussed at the meeting.

Frigaard said he had met with a representative of a company specializing in rehabilitating people released from prison. Frigaard said the company trains the former inmates in job skills and each worker is bonded by Job Service North Dakota. The work release company planned to approach the JDA for assistance to purchase housing for their participants, according to Frigaard.

In other business, Frigaard updated the board on planning grants available from the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Frigaard noted he hoped to form committees on workforce development and housing, revolving loan development, business development, developing the Chalmers Addition and Rugby marketing, branding and image.

Frigaard added he had heard from an individual interested in starting a business in Rugby.

In other business, board members approved minutes and financials from their Nov. 10 meeting and discussed a meeting date for January. Members also decided to discuss appointing representatives from Rugby’s business and banking community to fill terms set to expire early in 2022.

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