BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum met today with community leaders and residents in Beulah and Hazen, kicking off a series of meetings on his Main Street Initiative to determine how the state can best assist communities in promoting smart, efficient infrastructure development and creating healthy, vibrant main streets to help attract and retain a skilled workforce.
The roundtable discussions focused on challenges and opportunities tied to filling more than 13,000 job openings in North Dakota, the rapidly changing global market and the need to create fiscally sound, attractive communities to compete in a 21st century economy. Burgum also emphasized that the pillars of his Main Street Initiative are already being applied in some North Dakota communities, noting that efforts to maximize existing infrastructure, build the tax base through a mixed-use, infill building approach, and create unique and vibrant downtowns are becoming standard guidelines for community planning.
“The Main Street Initiative, which is based on sound community planning principles, will give local leaders access to a variety of resources, helping capitalize on strengths and support sound planning decisions,” Burgum said. “By helping community leaders understand the data elements necessary for building and maintaining existing infrastructure, and providing resources to help towns of all sizes attract and retain workforce, we will position North Dakota to compete and succeed in a global economy.”
Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who formerly was mayor of Watford City, also participated in the meetings along with members of the governor’s cabinet and staff and representatives from the Bank of North Dakota and state Department of Commerce.
“Communities are excited to showcase their unique attributes and experience the tangible benefits that Main Street provides,” Sanford said. “Our team is working in concert with local leaders to shape the future of North Dakota by facilitating resources and creating plans to help businesses grow and communities thrive.”
Input gathered from the meetings will be used to help develop a resource toolkit for communities that are looking to enhance their economies, infrastructure and attractiveness to help recruit and retain workers and improve quality of life.
For more information on the Main Street Initiative, call (701) 328-5300.