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  • State of the State Address Q&A with Governor Burgum

    State of the State Address Q&A with Governor Burgum

    Governor Burgum gave his fourth State of the State Address on Wednesday morning in Grand Forks, on the University of North Dakota campus, at the Chester Fritz Auditorium. GNDC was the sponsor of the event and live tweeted the address, which began at 10:30 and ended at 12:30.
    GNDC caught up with Governor Burgum immediately following his presentation.
    GNDC: If there was one thing people heard or one takeaway from your State of the State Address, what would that be?
    Governor Burgum: The takeaway would be that the state of North Dakota is strong, growing and we have unlimited potential.
    What is North Dakota’s biggest advantage in the global market moving into 2020?
    Our people – we have an enormous amount of God-given resources, the land, the soil, the air, the water, the energy. At the end of the day, what makes it all possible is the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the farmers, the ranchers, the business people that are helping extract and add value to all the natural resources that we have - so it all comes back to people. It comes back to leaders and innovators willing to forge new futures.
    How can business get involved to provide solutions to the challenges facing the state?
    We need to make sure we hear from the business community when policy is being set. It’s great to hear from all the different organized [associations] but actually hearing from a business owner who is maybe challenged with finding workforce, someone who could grow if they had access to better certificate programs - hearing directly from citizens is super helpful. GNDC is an amazing organization with an incredible history. I had the chance to work with the state chamber back in the 1980s with Vision 2000, one of the most impactful statewide economic development studies ever done. When we look at who was on that group – it was business leaders who were willing to put a lot of time in and make that happen. Even though GNDC has amazing staff, we need to rely on business leaders to show up, get involved, testify, and influence policy. I am grateful for those that have when we ask them to step up.
    How is this State of the State Address different than those of the past?
    This is a completely different format. When we are in the chambers, it is a different speech with delivery – a highlight reel that may relate to specific upcoming legislation. This address was more of a broad journey across our five strategic areas with accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities. I just talked to a young person, they thought it should have been advertised more as a really fun lecture series where you are going to learn, like a 300-400 level college class as opposed to the more perfunctory state of the state. We try to alter the format, this year is different but we are super grateful for GNDC’s sponsorship to help make the format possible and exciting. We had a bunch of students here today; hopefully, we also reached a broad audience with the livestream and televised options. Each person will have different takeaways that are important to them.
    Press Release from the Governor's Office: In 2020 State of the State, Burgum says ND is ‘strong, growing and full of boundless opportunity’
    State of the State 2020 slide deck