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Launching a ‘Good Life:' National campaign touting ND jobs, quality of life kicks off

FNS Photo by Dave Wallis North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, from left, Wally Goulet, chairman of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, and Paul Richard, president of Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, exchange a symbolic giant check for Sanford’s support of the launch of the Good Life campaign Wednesday in Fargo. The campaign will aim to attract workers to come to North Dakota to fill some 25,000 job openings by 2020. Scheels also provided funding.

FARGO — A new advertising campaign touting the benefits of life in North Dakota and its robust job market will target workers ages 18 to 54 who live in 15 states with high unemployment, as well as the nation’s service men and women.

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“Find the Good Life in North Dakota,” announced in March, launched Wednesday with a news conference at Sanford Medical Center in downtown Fargo.

Sanford Health is donating $50,000 toward the public/private initiative, said Paul Richard, president of Sanford Fargo Medical Center, who noted the health system has about 925 open positions statewide.

Fargo-based Scheels is also donating $50,000, said Wally Goulet, chairman of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation.

The national workforce recruitment campaign includes digital advertising aimed at states such as Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, as well as North Dakota’s immediate neighbors.

In-state advertising will encourage residents to invite friends and families to relocate to North Dakota.

Digital ads and on-site events at select military bases will target soon-to-be civilians. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley at the event said these veterans would be “new pioneers.”

The hub of the campaign is a website with job listings, training opportunities, housing information and “fun things to do,” said Sara Otte Coleman with the state Department of Commerce’s Tourism Division.

“So many people don’t understand the rich quality of life we have,” she said.

To determine the campaign’s success, the state will measure traffic to the site as well as, track jobs filled and talk to corporate partners, Otte Coleman said.

Among its benchmarks and goals is hiring 10,000 veterans, Goulet said.

The campaign is seeking workers trained in high-demand careers: health care, information technology, transportation, construction, and science, technology, engineering and math fields.

New workers are needed due to North Dakota’s rapid economic growth. The state has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.6 percent, and more than 25,000 job openings.

“These are challenges of prosperity, which we’re blessed by,” Wrigley said.