Gov. Jack Dalrymple, along with the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, today launched 2020 & Beyond, a 20-year development plan that will build on the success of the state's current strategic plan and advance North Dakota's opportunities well into the future. The new initiative was outlined at news conferences in Minot and Fargo. Dalrymple was joined by Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce and the co-chairs of the 2020 & Beyond steering committee, Kathy Neset with Neset Consulting and Bill Marcil, Jr. with Forum Communications.
2020 & Beyond will set the stage for an ongoing development discussion in North Dakota, building on established and proven goals and strategies as outlined in the North Dakota Economic Development 2010-2020 Strategic Plan. The initiative will advance the state's emphasis on job creation and building a positive business climate, while focusing on enhancing North Dakota's quality of life and the livability of its communities.
"For the past decade, North Dakota has been aggressive in its economic development efforts and those efforts have resulted in unprecedented opportunities for our citizens," Dalrymple said. "Now that we have achieved our goals for job creation and established a proven business climate, it is time for us to build on our progress and expand our vision for economic development. Today is the time to capitalize on the opportunities that have emerged as a result of our state's impressive economic growth."
To expand North Dakota's vision for the future, Dalrymple and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to lead the statewide development initiative. A steering committee and an advisory board, comprised of proven business leaders representing the state's eight regions, will guide the process and develop a plan to address major themes. The steering committee will provide a report to the Governor and the North Dakota Legislature in the fall of 2012 outlining its recommendations for furthering North Dakota's growth and enrichment. The report is expected to result in several legislative initiatives.
"2020 & Beyond will build on North Dakota's economic growth and success by focusing on the value of people, unique quality of place and the state's diverse opportunities," Peterson said. "The initiative will take North Dakota to the next level of economic prosperity, with an emphasis on enhancing our quality of life and making our communities an obvious choice for those interested in diversified opportunities."
Dalrymple focused on three keys to the future that will serve as the focal point for the development plan: people, places and opportunities. According to Dalrymple, "an integral component of our economic strategy is to ensure our people have the knowledge and skills to achieve their full potential, while preparing a workforce qualified and ready to take on the careers of tomorrow."
He emphasized the importance of creating places that are not only conducive to business development and growth, but also offer a variety of social, cultural, technological and recreational opportunities to enrich the livability of the state's communities for citizens of all ages. He added that because of North Dakota's diverse economy, there are a wide variety of industries and businesses that can offer expanding career choices and opportunities for all North Dakotans.
"Whatever individuals have an interest in pursuing, there will be an opportunity for them here in North Dakota," Dalrymple said. "We need to build upon the diversity of our job opportunities so that our people continue to have career choices well into the future."
Beginning next month, meetings will be held in eight communities across the state to gather input on the opportunities and challenges to be addressed in the development plan. Meetings will be held in Williston, Devils Lake, Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Dickinson. More information on dates and locations will be provided.
Members of the 2020 & Beyond Steering Committee include Kathy Neset, Neset Consulting; Bill Marcil Jr., Forum Communications; David Reiten, Reiten Television; Karl Bollingberg, Alerus Financial; Kari Newman-Ness, Newman Signs; Wally Goulet, National Information Solutions Cooperative; Joseph Rothschiller, Steffes Corporation; Senator Tony Grindberg; Senator Lonnie Laffen; Senator Mac Schneider; Representative Ron Guggisberg; Representative Scott Louser and Representative Don Vigesaa.
For more information on 2020 & Beyond, visit www.ND2020andBeyond.com.