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ACI feels the MAGIC

( June 04, 2005 )

Minot's MAGIC Fund committee voted Friday to help a local software consulting firm expand and committed money to maintain rail service in the Rugby area.

Dan Albertson, CEO of Albertson Consulting, Inc., is very confident the approval will benefit Minot and the surrounding area.

"It's not just confidence in our services," Albertson said. "There are some real connections that exist in this industry and this gives us the means to meet those opportunities."

ACI provides services in web application design, development, and deployment, database design and analysis, e-learning, software research, windows application development, product testing, and diagnostic tools.

If approved by City Council, the MAGIC Fund will provide a $50,000 grant and a $100,000 no-interest loan convertible to a grant if predetermined employment levels are met.

ACI has 10 full-time employees who earn an average of $18 per hour. ACI expects to have 30 employees by 2005, average $25 per hour.

ACI has been providing software engineering and consulting services for Probix, Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif., company and seeks to expand its customer base and service offerings. The expansion will allow ACI to become a "value-added reseller" or VAR, which will lead to more work with one of the nation's largest software development companies.

Paul Lucy, president of Minot Area Development Corp., said the company is poised with a strength and stability to grow and benefit Minot. "We are always looking at companies that will add great jobs and we want to support local businesses," Lucy said. "I know we have an opportunity to achieve that with this business. We're getting in the door at the front of a great deal here."

Albertson said that the arrangement with Probix is a partnership that will lead to substantial work with other leading companies in the industry as ACI continues to prove itself by providing excellent service."People are more than satisfied with our work," Albertson said. "When we do this consulting, whether it's research or infrastructure or testing, we have the opportunity to also integrate our software into the process and technically meet the client's needs.

Albertson said the company is looking at obtaining more partnerships and other national and international accounts and was elated that the request is set to be heard at the City Council's next meeting.

"This means a lot to our region," Albertson said. "There is a lot happening that I can't go into right now, but the approval will help in forming those relationships that are needed in this industry."

Lucy even took the benefits one step further. "Beyond what will happen in terms of employment within the company and Minot," Lucy said, "as Probix continues to grow, they will need more servicing and consulting work and that will come to Minot through this relationship. This will bring the wages that will keep people in town and bring people back to Minot."

Albertson said two former residents have already made their way back to Minot and said the expansion should bring about 10 new families to the area. Albertson is a graduate of Minot State University and keeps in contact with others who have moved away.

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Albertson Consulting, Inc.