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Keep N.D. among your options

By Staff | May 17, 2010

May is the month for endings and beginnings.

For high school students, graduation marks the end of one chapter in their lives and the beginning of another.

Some will be enrolling into college or entering a branch of the military. Others will start a job and still others are pondering their future plans.

Time is on their side, though, they’re young.

Hopefully, those new beginnings will have one common link – staying in North Dakota.

For years we have witnessed a good number of young citizens leave the state to attend college and find jobs. And once they left, it was unlikely they would be coming back.

This brain drain, as it was called, left a negative impression on North Dakota.

One of our most important assets – our youth – had to move to find jobs in career fields which were not available or were very limited in North Dakota.

Fortunately, times are changing.

Unlike most places in the country, North Dakota’s economy is healthy, credited largely with another oil boom. More companies are investing in North Dakota which has helped to diversify the job market and spur more economic growth.

Another positive to report is more high school graduates are choosing to stay in the state to attend two and four-year colleges, taking advantage of a quality education at a reasonable price. And the odds are good many will first look to find work in North Dakota.

And the state’s population has been rising albeit slowly, over the past five years, another sign North Dakota is an appealing place to live and work.

Of course there is always room for improvement. While some areas of the state are growing, others are shrinking. State and local officials need to determine how services and job opportunities can be spread throughout the state.

Indeed, there are a lot of positives going for North Dakota right now, and hopefully more young citizens will recognize that, and consider making North Dakota their permanent address.

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