Officials: 20-year plan for N.D. will build on strengthsWhat do you do when you are leading almost all other states in positive economic metrics? You do even better.
By: by Dave Olson, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — What do you do when you are leading almost all other states in positive economic metrics?
You do even better.
That is the goal North Dakota officials set for the state Monday when they unveiled “2020 and Beyond,” an initiative aimed at mapping a 20-year development plan for the state.
“We’re talking about building on the work we have done in the past,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said at a news conference here.
Helping Dalrymple outline the initiative were Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, and Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of The Forum.
Marcil is co-chairman of a steering committee that will develop the plan along with an advisory board made up of experienced business leaders from around the state.
The process will include gathering input at eight meetings that will be scheduled in coming weeks in Williston, Minot, Devils Lake, Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown, Bismarck and Dickinson.
After information is collected, the steering committee will present the governor and Legislature with a report containing recommendations for boosting the state’s growth and enrichment.
The report, expected to be completed by fall, will likely result in legislative proposals, said Dalrymple, who recruited Marcil for a leadership role on the steering committee.
Marcil said family was one reason he joined the effort.
“As the father of three daughters, I felt like I didn’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting to see what happens with our state,” he said.
“I felt like this is an opportunity for me to help gather voices from all over the state and create the future for the year 2020 and beyond,” Marcil added.
Three keys to North Dakota’s future success have been identified — people, places and opportunities.
Dalrymple said an important part of the state’s strategy is to make sure people have the knowledge and skills to fulfill their potential and to qualify for the careers of tomorrow.
Making North Dakota a livable and enriching place for all ages is also a priority, Dalrymple said, adding that another is fostering diverse job opportunities.
He said promising areas include advanced engineering services, landscape design, advanced medical technology, professional services and architecture.