So, it’s not long after being initiated into the world of elected officials that you’re asked to start talking about economic development. In case you didn’t know, ‘economic development’ is doublespeak for ‘job creation.’
I’m suspicious of the entire concept.
First of all, politicians are notorious for creating jobs, but it’s rare that they’re the kind that adds to an economy. It’s usually the opposite. So, the other day when I came across a Facebook post advertising a newly-created job in Minot, it got my attention. Take a look below.
First, congratulations to Prairie Sky Breads on their rising success! Second, how do I get bread?
But with regards to job creation, I think there’s another message inside that FB post for all of us politicians and professionals working in the field of ‘economic development.’ Maybe it’s time to start playing small ball. Maybe it’s time to focus on our homegrown talent.
For the past 25-years, I’ve watched our economic development efforts swing for the fences. We’ve spent millions and millions incentivizing and luring the big fish. There are some legitimate success stories. There are also some spectacular failures.
On the whole, I’d say the Minot region has some work to do before we can claim success on the goal of creating a resilient, self-sustaining economy.
Here’s the good news — with resources delivered through the National Disaster Resilience grant, we’re taking a closer look at our economic development practices. That’s healthy. It’s time for a review that includes some outside perspective. Members of the IEDC, the organization helping with the review, have already been here for a high-level 2-day training and discussion session. They’ll be back this spring for a deeper dive.
The formal review effort organized by the City and MADC will get going in the next few months, but there’s no reason I can’t start now. There’s no reason I can’t run ahead to see what we’re going to discover.
So, if you have thoughts on the topic of job creation in Minot and what you’re seeing from your local government, I’m ready to listen. Get in touch, make a call, send an email; let’s set a meeting. If you’ve got an opinion, if you’re a small business owner who’s in Minot creating jobs right now, I want to hear from you.
Here’s why: I think it’s time that those of us making decisions about job creation hear from those of you who are already creating jobs. Even those of you creating them one job at a time. And especially those of you who have the gall to do it without my help. 🙂
For more about Prairie Sky Breads, check out their Facebook page here. And thanks for permission to use the image! The full-size version of Rye-Not Minot can be viewed with a click on the below picture.