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BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Rural Development Council (NDRDC) is being reconvened to support the development of rural communities across the state through collaboration between government and the nonprofit and private sectors.

The NDRDC is North Dakota’s chapter of the National Rural Development Partnership Program, uniting the state’s private and nonprofit sectors with state, federal, local and tribal governments in an effort to strengthen rural America. North Dakota law prescribes that the NDRDC may have up to 17 members and meet at least twice a year, but the council has not convened since February 2014.

“For North Dakota to reach its full potential, our communities must do the same, and that includes the many rural communities that form the bedrock of our state,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “The purpose of the Rural Development Council – to assist in the development of North Dakota’s rural communities – is closely aligned with our administration’s Main Street Initiative.”

“Reconvening the NDRDC will help ensure our rural communities get the assistance they need to create healthy, vibrant communities with smart, efficient infrastructure to attract a skilled workforce for the 21st century economy,” said Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who announced the reconvening of the NDRDC at the North Dakota Township Officers Association’s annual meeting Monday in Bismarck.

The NDRDC’s charge is to:

  • Facilitate collaboration among governments and the private and nonprofit sectors in the planning and implementation of programs and policies that have an impact on rural areas of the state.
  • Monitor, report and comment on policies and programs that address, or fail to address, the needs of rural areas of the state.
  • Facilitate the development of strategies to reduce or eliminate conflicting or duplicative administrative services.

Details for applying to serve on the NDRDC will be released in the near future. Under state law, the governor appoints members to two-year terms, except that half of the initial members will be appointed to one-year terms so the terms are staggered.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce is required to have a rural development office and a women’s business development office. Commerce currently contracts with the nonprofit Center for Technology and Business to facilitate those two functions. The state Commerce Commissioner administers the rural development office and serves as an ex-officio member of the NDRDC.

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