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Forbes/Milken Lists ND Cities Among Best
Posted on May 24, 2002

BISMARCK, ND - Gov. John Hoeven today commended Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks for ranking among the 96 best small metro areas in the nation to do business and advance careers.

Published in the May 27 issue of Forbes magazine, the 2002 Forbes/Milken Institute list of Best Places for Business and Careers placed Bismarck at 18th this year, up from 30th last year; Fargo-Moorhead at 21st this year, compared to 22nd last year; and Grand Forks at 72nd, up from 83rd last year. Small metro areas are communities with populations below 177,000.

The increase in rank, according to Hoeven, confirms that economic development is moving to a higher level of performance in North Dakota.

�North Dakota is a great place to live, work and do business. To have a prestigious magazine like Forbes acknowledge that we�re doing things right and moving economic development forward is welcome recognition,� Hoeven said.

Lee Peterson, commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, said the state is getting the job done when it comes to economic development. �We�ve begun implementing a marketing plan that has netted successes like CBF in Fargo. The list of companies expanding in the state will continue to grow as we aggressively position North Dakota for business opportunities.�

The rankings are based, among other criteria, on wage and salary growth, job growth and activity in critical technologies that foster future growth. A new category this year was job momentum, which tracked employment during the first quarter of 2002 to gauge how metro areas were dealing with the effects of Sept. 11 and the slowing economy.

Forbes and The Milken Institute use current statistical data, primarily from the federal government. The overall ranking is based on a sum of rankings in nine categories. Five job and salary categories measure overall economic activity and four high-tech categories reflect activity that drives economic growth. In addition to ranking 96 small metro communities, the study also ranked the top 200 metropolitan areas. Visit www.forbes.com/bestplaces or www.milkeninstitute.org/ranking/rank.cfm to view this year�s ranking.

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

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