The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (EDC), along with public and private sector leaders, announced the launch of the Fueling Our Future initiative at a press conference today.
Successful planning and fundraising have brought more than 30 top regional business and community leaders together to focus on large-scale solutions that will help shape the community and economic landscape of the greater Fargo Moorhead West Fargo region.
Initially envisioned in 2017, Fueling Our Future is a long-term initiative, divided into four-year programs of work, led by dozens of private and public investors, including Sanford, Gate City Bank, Microsoft, the cities of Fargo and West Fargo, and others. Fueling Our Future has been endorsed by both The Chamber and EDC boards.
“This is a great partnership between two organizations and truly an example of the collaboration needed to advance some of the most important issues facing our region,” said Craig Whitney, President & CEO of The Chamber. “This kind of community-wide initiative is new for our region and designed to help our businesses and public sector leaders advance ideas that impact us all. Fueling Our Future addresses needs above and beyond the current scope of both our organizations, enabling us together to advance the metro and plan for the future.”
Fueling Our Future brings resources together to focus on major initiatives and programs to create lasting regional impact. The work will fall under three pillars:
- People (workforce development)
Projects within “People” will include strengthening the workforce pipeline by support of education/industry alignment, as well as programs targeted to aid the region in competing in an ever-changing global economy prepared for the future.
- Prosperity (economic development)
Projects within “Prosperity” will include support of business development efforts through the attraction of new businesses within targeted industry sectors and support of existing industry and entrepreneurs.
- Place (community assets/quality of life)
Projects within “Place” will focus on place-based amenities that enhance community assets, business-friendly infrastructure and positively impact quality of life.
Based on continuous feedback from business leaders, FOF will also focus on the region’s image including a multi-year regional brand campaign and a multi-year familiarity (FAM) tour for key national site location consultants.
“This initiative combines the expertise of The Chamber and our EDC as well as many successful companies to focus on key areas that accelerate our region’s growth,” said Joe Raso, President & CEO of the GFMEDC.
“What impresses Sanford is the scale and the determination to do something for all of us, not to be evaluated only in terms of ‘what’s in it for me,’” said Nate White, COO and President, Sanford Health, and a lead investor in the initiative. “Fueling Our Future changes the game to push Fargo Moorhead West Fargo up to the Division 1 level of communities engaged in sustained and long-term economic development. Sanford has seen this type of effort work already with similar initiatives, and we’re determined to participate with time, treasure and talent to make it happen here.”