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Eight employers in Mercer County have come together to form Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care to own and operate a child care center in the county. They were incorporated as a nonprofit with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office on October 7, 2016.
The employers are:
- Basin Electric Power Cooperative and subsidiary Dakota Gasification Company
- Sakakawea Medical Center
- North American Coal Corporation, representing The Coteau Properties Company and Coyote Creek Mining Company
- Union State Bank
- Knife River Care Center
- Coal Country Community Health Centers
- Coyote Station
- Hazen Public Schools
Technical support is provided by North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives‘ Rural Development Finance Corporation.
The first child care facility opened in Hazen, ND, in May 2017. Initially, Sakakawea Medical Center allowed the group to explore the use of its clinic building. In September 2016, a council member of New Bethel Congregational Church approached Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care about an opportunity to purchase their soon-to-be-vacated church building. Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care purchased the building and select contents (office furniture, appliances, etc.) at a very reasonable price. Both the church and the Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care saw this as a way to continue the church’s legacy of ministering to families, while meeting a dire need in the community. The facility is named “New Bethel” to reflect this goodwill.