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Associated Press, Published September 02 2009

Small ND town comes out ahead in Bobcat jobs

GWINNER, N.D. - There's relief in Gwinner, in the area of southeastern North Dakota where the Bobcat Co., began. The company is shutting its plant in Bismarck, but many of the jobs are moving from the big city to the small town.

Bobcat says 390 of its Bismarck jobs are being moved to its plant in Gwinner. It will then have about 1,500 workers in the state, most in Gwinner. Bobcat makes small loaders and other light construction equipment.

Gwinner city manager Jeff Anderson says he feels sorry for people in Bismarck but he believes Bismarck and neighboring Mandan are large enough to absorb the layoffs.

Anderson says his community of about 790 people has the infrastructure to handle more workers. He says the town has about 10 houses for sale and 80 units in apartments, many of which went vacant after the last round of layoffs.

Anderson says: "People can relax a little bit now, at least short term."'

Read comprehensive coverage Thursday in The Forum.

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