Paramount Builders Inc.
I met my business partner Scott Stoeckel while we were both in college in Fargo, N.D., and took classes together in construction management. We weren't big fans of Fargo, so after working for a corporation for a couple of years, we decided to jump ship and return to our hometown to start a construction company. We launched in April 2007.
Bismarck's population has been growing rapidly, so we felt safe starting a business here. It was a little behind the times in home construction, so we decided to bring new technologies and specialize in custom-building energy-efficient homes. They're up to 60 more efficient than standard homes.
The Small Business Administration chapter and the local Chamber of Commerce provided great resources for us to not only start our business, but survive. After filing all the paperwork, we attended their networking functions. In a small town, everyone wants to help you start your business because everyone wants the town to grow and thrive.
The local economy has remained strong during the national downturn. The labor market has held solid -- there aren't too many people looking for work. We have a staff of 7. It's hard to find the correct employees, so we find people we can work with and teach them the necessary skills. But a couple of larger companies, like Bobcat Co., are closing their operations in Bismarck, so there are more quality employees to choose from. -Hibah Yousuf
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