Doosan Bobcat announced Tuesday it has invested $600,000 in its Bismarck-based Acceleration Center, where the company tests designs and compact construction equipment.
The West Fargo-based manufacturer plans to use the funds for computer hardware and software for electrical engineers.
The investment at the five-year-old, $43 million facility will convert 10,000 square feet of office space into a lab where electrical engineers will write software for electric vehicles and for components including digital displays and electronic sensors. Doosan Bobcat has hired eight software engineers, five electrical engineers and 15 mechanical engineers since last year. All but two mechanical engineers are based at the Acceleration Center.
"Our business right now is just like the car industry. It's starting to shift away from internal combustion engines to electric drive," said Troy Kraft, senior vice president of global engineering.
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The Acceleration Center employs about 230 people. Roughly 870 people work at Doosan Bobcat's Bismarck Manufacturing Facility. The company is one of the area's largest employers, according to the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC.
Doosan Bobcat also has partnerships with area high schools. The Acceleration Center offers STEM programs to high school students during National Engineering Week in February, Computer Science Day in December and National Manufacturing Week in October.
Legacy High School Principal Tom Schmidt said his school's classroom design was inspired by the Acceleration Center.
"It's about preparing them, not just for college, but the world of work beyond," Schmidt said. "We wanted to give that experience where kids can work with each other and be contributing employees like here."