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Angelou Economics, Inc. to Lead Strategic Planning
Posted on April 16, 2002

BISMARCK, ND - Gov. John Hoeven today announced that the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation has hired Angelou Economics, Inc., of Austin, Texas to take the state�s strategic planning process forward. The commerce foundation is the private-sector advisory body responsible for guiding the economic-development efforts of the Department of Commerce (DOC).

�This effort will strengthen our new way of doing business,� Hoeven said. �We�ve laid the groundwork by forming our commerce department, forging a relationship with the university system and establishing our private-sector commerce foundation. Now, the foundation is bringing in one of the top-notch companies in the nation to help us refine the focus, set benchmarks and monitor progress.�

Angelou Economics, Inc. (www.AngelouEconomics.com), a consulting firm specializing in public-sector, private-sector economic development strategies, will work with business leaders, the DOC and local stakeholders to advance the state�s economic development efforts.

The incorporation of private industry in economic development has strengthened North Dakota�s approach. Lignite Vision 21, which is working to enhance the energy industry, and the state�s partnership with Dakota Carrier Network to wire the state for information technology, are two prime examples, Hoeven said. The commerce foundation is just another dimension of that strategy, according to Hoeven.

The state Department of Commerce, authorized by the Legislature in April 2001, brought Economic Development and Finance, the Division of Community Services, the Tourism Department and Workforce Development under one roof to provide �one-stop� shopping for clients seeking to invest or locate in North Dakota. The state�s initial strategy built on recommendations and data provided by Economy.com, a financial consulting firm, and the National Association of State Development Agencies.

Last year, Hoeven said, the commerce department provided 299 communities in every county in North Dakota with marketing, financing, and other assistance. Taxable sales rose 4.4 percent and personal wages and income grew 5 percent. Employment in North Dakota grew in spite of the national recession and, currently, unemployment is running at under 3 percent, compared to the current national average of 5.5 percent. Another measure of the state�s progress, Hoeven said, is that the state is one of only four in the nation projected to balance its books this year.

�We�ve established a solid basis on which to build,� Hoeven said. �Our goal is to create more and better paying jobs, and a better quality of life for North Dakotans. Clearly, we need to take an aggressive approach, and that�s just what we�re doing.�


Contact: Kathy Ibach or Don Canton, (701) 328-2200

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