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The Chamber Takes The Long View

Craig-Whitney-1

Photography by J. Alan Paul

It won’t be long before the world will be into a fresh, new decade we’ll call the 2020s.

Many local and regional medium- and long-range plans have pegged 2020 as the year to achieve select planned growth goals in agriculture, education, industry, workforce, infrastructure and enhanced quality of life. As we near 2020, we can savor a few genuine accomplishments with a cheer of “been there, done that!”

Now comes the harder part because there’s much more to do. Past, after all, is prologue.

In a recently completed community-leader survey, a question was asked about how to leverage our community strengths to undertake an even more comprehensive regional approach to growth for the benefit of our children and grandchildren in the decades to come.

The Chamber is taking these comments under consideration as it plans partnerships and programs to decide and act upon a longer-term strategic vision with a clear mission and goals.

“Can you imagine a Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo that folks around the country know by name and reputation?”

While the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo metropolitan region has much to be thankful for in terms of business vitality and continued growth, certain constraints have emerged that may threaten our best intentions.

While a low unemployment rate suggests we are at full employment, we recognize that many jobs are not filled, as we lack the human resources to grow existing businesses or attract new ones. In addition, lack of infrastructure completion threatens business continuity. These are two among several problems that should not be allowed to check our economic strength or diminish our regional competitive advantage.

To create a platform for a wider discussion about the region’s strengths and opportunities, the Chamber is taking steps to convene a task force that will paint broad outlines for moving forward as a region, united in purpose and commitment.

Of course, many existing businesses and nonprofits that are already in place are serving vital roles and positively impacting the quality of life here, but an overarching mandate from key private- and public-sector leaders may boost our efforts to attain truly impactful regional results.

Can you imagine a Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo that folks around the country know by name and reputation? One that businesses and individuals alike add to their must-visit or must-move-to spots? One that sweeps the nation for our people, our business climate and our quality of life?

A true destination marketplace is what we hope to see.

When we look back a decade from now on the challenges and opportunities we faced, it should be with the satisfaction that the larger questions pertaining to growth goals were discussed and actioned to the benefit of the Valley’s next generation.

If you wish to be part of such a “longer view,” please give us a call.

FMWF Chamber of Commerce

FMWFChamber.com
218-233-1100

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Written by Craig Whitney

Craig Whitney is the president and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

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