In the past year, Bowman County has grown to be a hub of educational and entrepreneurial opportunities in southwest North Dakota, thanks in major part to Bowman County Development Corporation.
In the past year, the organization has helped bring 13 business classes, in a partnership with the University of Mary, to the city. According to their annual report, the program continues to impact small businesses and development to the semi-arid high hills of the western and southernmost county in the state.
However, one does not have to be an enrolled student at the University of Mary to take advantage of the wide array of educational opportunities available in Bowman County. The BCDC have assisted in the creation of a modern workspace called Mainspace.
Mainspace, located at 13 1/2 E Divide in Bowman, is a hub of educational and professional development. Mainspace offers a variety of non-college classes every month for those desiring to grow in their various interests and professional aspirations. According to a video made by BCDC, 2020 was its first year of operation.
Beginning May 5 at 6 p.m., In partnership with the University of Mary, Mainspace will be offering a chance to take top-notch photos guaranteed to dazzle customers both on and offline, using only a cell phone camera all for the low price of $150. The course will run up until May 19. The class will be taught by recently retired Director of Publications for the University of Mary, Jerry Anderson.
Thursday, June 17 aspiring entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to learn how to sell the product or brand via the digital world. E-Marketing for Beginners runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost of the class is $50. Marketing and Research Manager for the North Dakota Tourism Division, Heather LeMoine will be teaching the class.
In July, beginning Wednesday, July 14 at 1 p.m, high school teacher Randy Willson from Mandan and Bookkeeping Instructor Katie Larson will be teaching a Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping class for only $199. Also, according to the Mainspace website, those wanting to take only the accounting or bookkeeping portion may do so.
Certified Project Manager Marisa Skees will be teaching those in attendance how to maximize their usage of Microsoft 365, particularly Microsoft Teams and Outlook, beginning Tuesday, August 10, running from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Bowman County Development even provides scholarships for those who will benefit most from these classes. Scholarships can be applied for online by downloading the application from the scholarship tab located at the bottom of the classes page.
Mainspace also serves as a bookable meeting space. Project Coordinator Shelby Kinkade said in a video by BCDC that 2020 brought an influx of bookings. Mainspace can be booked online by going to the Mainspace website.
Professional and personal development in Bowman doesn’t end with Mainspace. BCDC also hosts a professional development conference called the Fusion Conference during which those in attendance will have the opportunity to listen to nationally acclaimed speakers. This is the BCDC’s fourth year hosting the conference. This year’s theme is called The Culture Movement. Nationally recognized speakers such as Jim Knight, Sarah Ross, Paul Long, Joni Nash and Danna Larson will be featured speakers. Those desiring to attend the conference may reserve their spot on the conference’s website. BCDC knows that community and professional development are incomplete without the help of the surrounding community.
Executive Director of BCDC Teran Doerr said a community survey, requesting input regarding their five year growth plan, as of this article, has been closed.
“We just closed our community survey and had a good response, and will close a survey that went to leadership in all communities next week...Our goal is to have a very high input of community buy-in,” Doerr said.
Doerr also said BCDC will also be hosting community and focus group meetings. The exact date remains to be determined.