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Brock: Living the ‘Good Life in North Dakota’

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Last week, the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation announced plans to raise $2.5 million for a recruitment plan “Find the Good Life in North Dakota.”

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The campaign will promote North Dakota as a great place to live, work and raise a family, according to Wally Goulet, the foundation’s chairman.

They will focus on veterans and active members expected to re-enter civilian lives in the coming years, along with new graduates and job seekers with the desired skill sets needed by the state’s employers.

He acknowledged housing availability and costs have been a roadblock for some workers looking to move to North Dakota, particularly in the Oil Patch, but said the campaign won’t necessarily address housing.

I suppose a minor detail like where you are going to live shouldn’t be addressed when trying to promote finding the good life in North Dakota.

I would suggest they forget to mention the high cost of nearly everything, including food or the empty shelves at Walmart. Do newcomers preparing to leave everything they are accustomed to behind really need to know that Williston tops the list as the most expensive places to live in the country?

Probably shouldn’t discuss the winter weather that can make a native North Dakotan lay awake at night dreaming of retirement in Arizona. Nor should you talk about traffic overloads on roads not built for such a robust economy or the dangerous art of dodging countless trucks to and from work.

Instead of showing families living in a travel trailer in a dusty or muddy RV park on the outskirts of Watford City, it probably makes more sense to feature a family dressed up in their Sunday best sitting down to turkey dinner in the dining room next to the fireplace.

No, I’m sure it makes more sense to show a family enjoying the great North Dakota on a sunny day rather than them peering out the window of their one-bedroom apartment they share during a North Dakota blizzard.

Yep, their job is get folks to move here, and nothing will make them want to stay more than glossing over the challenges of living the good life in North Dakota that those of us already here confront daily.

I’m sure they will appreciate western North Dakota more if they discover for themselves the joy of living the “Good Life in North Dakota.”

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press. Email him at hbrock@thedickinsonpress.com.

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