The perception of Western North Dakota from outsiders is vastly different from reality. Even from our ND neighbors in the East. I wrote about this before how people don’t really understand this until you are here. The inaccurate national news media frenzy of the boom fueled this misunderstanding. Once you are here, however, you meet the people who have made this their home. They are hardworking, caring, and survivors. Harsh winters and summer mosquitoes are not easy to live with, yet, we are stronger for it.
The activity level is on the rise. The change is palpable. Not just structurally with all the infrastructure projects around the area but with the anticipation of the future. This past Wednesday the city hosted the second public meeting regarding the new airport project and the Sloulin Field redevelopment. Both of these projects are crucially significant to our regional economy moving forward.
The new airport will be a not just be a nice convenience for travel – able to offer the region closer and easier options to people visiting here and for visit others. It will open up a wide variety of economic options that up until now, have not even been imagined. The Sloulin Field site offers prime space in town that will be available to provide amenities, services, commerce to meet the growing demand.
Thanks to the leadership at the city, county, and state level all working hard on our behalf, this is now a reality…coming to fruition within a few years. At the same time, it is a model for a growing community for the next several generations. The engagement of our youth and different leaders now is critical to help ensure the community continues to grow and thrive.
To this end, the Chamber’s Leadership and Education committee provides opportunities for both youth and people in this community intended to form leaders in our community. You may not be involved directly with the Lemonade Day program, Leadership Williston, and others but in your own small way you can be:
- Come out around town on June 17th and visit some lemonade stands to support our budding entrepreneurs.
- Learn about all the great work being done around this community at our non-profit expo in July. Perhaps your or your business wants to give back or support them with your time as a volunteer.
- Think twice before you order something online and see if you can get it here at a local business. Support those businesses that support our economy and our community.
- Consider your friend, neighbor, kids or grandkids that have the potential and drive to become our next group of leaders. Maybe they could benefit from either Lemonade Day or Leadership Williston and encourage them to get involved to shape our future.
I know I’ve said it before, but it’s still true: This is an exciting time to be living and working in the Williston Area. This is a fantastic community and I am grateful to be involved!