About Main Street

Reinvigorated Communities are the Key to a Strong Future

Every community has unique opportunities and challenges. The Main Street Initiative gives local leaders a direct access point to a variety of resources, helping capitalize on strengths and make sound planning decisions.



These efforts will help create vibrant cities poised to attract and retain a 21st century workforce, helping North Dakota compete and succeed in a global economy.


The Main Street Initiative is focused on three pillars of economic success: a skilled workforce; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities to help North Dakota compete in an increasingly global economy.


Frequently Asked Questions

What policies do you see being introduced for this effort?

There may be policy changes in the future. What the team is doing now is focusing on awareness and education and helping community leaders navigate what’s already in existence. These efforts will help identify what opportunities exist for policy changes that would help remove barriers to our communities’ success.

If these are programs that already exist, what is different?

The difference is the state is actively working to help communities understand the full framework of what’s available to them as resources, and how they can best access services to meet their needs. Our team is working to create data driven dashboards and other tools to serve as an access point to key information for our communities and to aggregate services and programs in one location.

How will the team work with local leaders in this effort?

The Main Street Initiative is being executed on two levels - local and statewide. Statewide we’re working to aggregate information on the programs and resources available to our communities, improve access to these resources and identify the gaps. We’ve also been discussing Main Street strategy with community leaders. These leaders share the vision of vibrant, active downtowns and fiscally responsible growth that helps their cities remain strong. We’re working with community leaders to activate strategies and tools to help North Dakota compete for global talent and improve the quality of life for our citizens.

How are communities going to be linked to main street?

Our team is focusing on engaging local leaders by giving them the tools and information they need to build a strong future for North Dakota. Every community has its own unique opportunities and challenges. Main Street will help our leaders to capitalize on strengths and provide information to help make sound planning decisions and attract and retain the 21st century entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses that will fuel North Dakota’s diverse economy.

How will you know that this effort is working?

Our team sees success in participation. Communities make this vision a reality by creating quality public spaces, prioritizing local entrepreneurship, emphasizing production and supporting downtown housing and development. It is about serving more citizens with the same or reduced public investment. Over the long term, this initiative will serve as a blueprint for future workforce development; smart, efficient infrastructure; and healthy, vibrant communities. North Dakota has nearly 13,000 job openings, including roles in health care, education, technology, energy and advanced manufacturing. The talent to fill these jobs is highly mobile. Our cities are competing every day for talent with other cities. Building vibrant community centers is a fundamental element of the success of workforce development efforts.

What metrics will be used to measure success?

On a statewide level, the dashboard will include metrics that point to North Dakota’s overall economic success, such as sales tax, population, jobs filled, per capita personal income, education retention rates, etc. On a community level, we’re still working through what information is available to help support our leaders in their planning efforts. These metrics will include key measures to support the three pillars of workforce, infrastructure and healthy, vibrant communities.

How can our city become involved?

To become a Main Street Initiative champion in your community, call 701.328.5312.