Main Street Summit aims to help ND compete in 21st Century workforce

BISMARCK, N.D. - Monday, community leaders gathered to listen to Gov. Doug Burgum promote his Main Street Initiative, which is aimed to help North Dakota compete in the 21st Century workforce.

Burgum says the goal of his Main Street Initiative is to build a smart, healthy, and vibrant community where people want to live, raise families, or retire here.

There are 13,000 jobs open in the state, and Burgum says he hopes to fill those jobs by turning North Dakota into a community where people want to stay and work here.

"If we don't fill those jobs, we're not taking care of our communities, we're not taking care of the elderly, we're not taking care of the people in the most need if we don't fill the health care jobs. It's just critical that we fill the jobs that we have here," said Burgum.

The Main Street Initiative is aimed to differentiate our economy from others, to hopefully attract millennials.

"What can we do in our communities to actively engage folks to see what would be a driver for attracting people, what are some things that our community does," said Sandy McMerty, deputy commissioner for the Department of Commerce.

Being in the 21st Century is a continuing journey, but Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler says North Dakota is doing, well but we can always move forward.

"Things are changing from business to health care to education and we need to be on top of it all," said Schuler.

Attracting more people won't cost taxpayers any money, it's main goal is to be able to grow fiscal stable communities with the tax base we already have.

The Main Street Initiative Summit continues Tuesday.