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Hoeven pushes pro-growth strategy

FARGO -- What the United States economy needs to get back on track is a pro-jobs, pro-growth climate like the one in North Dakota.

That's the message U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., presented Friday to the Great Plains Young Professionals Summit held in Fargo and sponsored by The Chamber.

Hoeven reinforced his point at a news conference where he was joined by North Dakota business leaders who said the state's approach to regulation and taxation makes it attractive for businesses and job creation.

Steve Scheel, CEO of Scheels, said the sporting goods company is expanding in North Dakota and elsewhere, including Salt Lake City, Utah.

The company chose the latter city over Syracuse, N.Y., based on the regulatory process and tax picture in Syracuse, Scheel said.

David Batcheller, chief operating officer of Appareo Systems, said the company was recently recognized as the fastest growing privately held engineering company in the country.

"It's a really good time to be a North Dakotan. It's an exceptional state to be in," Batcheller said, adding he is happy that Hoeven planned to bring to Washington principles that have worked in North Dakota.

"Less regulation, less tax, more freedom. That's music to our ears as we continue to grow and try to bring people to North Dakota," Batcheller said.

In addition to promoting a strong business climate nationally, Hoeven said his other priorities include getting government spending in line with revenues and working on an energy policy that will help create jobs and reduce American dependence on foreign sources of energy.

Hoeven said some will point to North Dakota's successful agricultural and energy sectors to explain the state's strong financial health and low unemployment rate -- 3.3 percent compared to 9.1 percent nationally.

But, he added that doesn't explain why other states with large farm and energy sectors aren't enjoying the same success.

"It is about creating the right environment," said Hoeven, who was North Dakota's governor for 10 years before being elected to the Senate last year.

Olson is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.