Bobcat Back in Bismarck - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Bobcat Back in Bismarck

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After millions in renovations, Bismarck Bobcat is back.  What are they doing -- and are they here to stay?

Over six million dollars in renovations later, Bobcat brings 400 factory jobs, as well as hundreds of professional and administrative jobs, to Bismarck.  In addition to engine and component assembly work, there's real manufacturing going on in Bobcat's 350,000 square feet of newly-renovated factory floor space.

There's also something unique about Bismarck Bobcat.  It's "home base" for making attachments.  "The attachments is what really makes the Bobcat equipment -- the skid-steers and the loaders -- the versatile equipment that they are.  This facility is the largest producer of that equipment.  We make over 95 different attachments here and we make the highest volume attachments here.  So this really is the home base for our attachments' manufacturing," says Dean Kuhn, Bismarck Site Leader, Bismarck.

And employees are excited to be back.  "You can really feel the excitement of the people actually building these things.  It's a sense of pride that I had something to do with that.  Actually, we made that product right here in Bismarck, North Dakota, and that's going out worldwide.  That's a piece of pride that you can't really put a price tag on," says Dennis Agnew, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Bobcat.  "It's based on tradition and collaboration.  A lot of ingenuity goes into it and I think we just stand behind a very powerful and good product," says Britt Kop, After-Market Marketing Coordinator, Bobcat.  

It was a big blow to the city when Bobcat left Bismarck in 2009.  Company heads said it was to regroup, and focus on operations elsewhere.  This time, they say it's different.  "Bobcat is here to stay.  In particular, for Bismarck, it's great news.  We've gone through this extensive renovation, where we've gone through the offices and the factory floor.  We've, in addition to that, we've brought new product into this facility to be built here.  I'm also looking out and looking forward to what other opportunities exist to further our footprint here in North Dakota and Bismarck, in particular," says Kuhn.

Bobcat has 600 dealers in U.S., and 1,000 worldwide.  The company currently employs 2,000 people in North Dakota.

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