Gov. Doug Burgum today delivered opening remarks to kick off the 2021 Main Street ND Summit, emphasizing the importance of building smart, efficient infrastructure that allows communities to differentiate themselves so they can attract and retain a 21st century workforce and attract new investment.
Burgum welcomed participants to this year’s summit at the Rustad Recreation Center in West Fargo and provided insight into both the physical elements of infrastructure and the critical need to grow a next-generation community with economic development, workforce and leadership development. The theme of this year’s event is Smart, Efficient Infrastructure.
“(Smart, efficient infrastructure) matters because we know that we’re in competition with other states and other communities” for workforce and economic development, Burgum said in his remarks. “How we build our infrastructure, where we build our infrastructure and how we pay for infrastructure affects everything else we do, because if we overspend on infrastructure in a way that’s inefficient, that cuts into our ability to build great amenities in our communities that help us differentiate.”
West Fargo was selected for the daylong summit to showcase the mixed-use development that takes advantage of existing and sustainable infrastructure, and properties that help to create in-fill and continue to grow their community.
Nearly 800 registrants heard from nationally renowned speakers who shared ways to create and pay for smart, efficient infrastructure. Breakout sessions included workforce development, partnership between businesses and community to retain and attract workforce, business and organizational succession planning and community and economic development.
The one-day interactive summit served as a forum for information on the community planning principles behind the pillars of Burgum’s Main Street Initiative: a 21st century workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; healthy, vibrant communities; and economic diversification, a fourth pillar that was recently added to reflect the administration’s ongoing focus and work on diversifying North Dakota’s economy. The summit is being livestreamed here.