Wednesday, November 3, 2010

early winter

i love me some stories about north dakota. if you flew delta in october, you would've noticed the 20-page article on how great north dakota is. basically, the best place ever. i think i'm going to PDF the document and post it on here. its really cool. i didn't read it all, but thats because i already know it. and here is another boost for nodak (from in-forum, but they don't let you link unless you pay for it so i'm copying the text):
Published October 29 2010
North Dakota tops competitiveness list
By: Marino Eccher

A burgeoning budget surplus, a rock-bottom unemployment rate, short commutes and clean air: all reasons North Dakota leads the nation in economic competitiveness, according to a new report.

The study, released Monday by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, ranked all 50 states on their ability to create and sustain income and growth.

In taking the top spot, North Dakota earned a smattering of No. 1 rankings in key economic categories. The state’s budget surplus, projected to be about $1 billion next year, is easily the nation’s best at a time when most states are facing shortfalls. Its 3 percent unemployment is the lowest in the nation by a comfortable margin.

The state also led the way in less-direct measurements of success: North Dakotans enjoy the shortest commutes (about 17 minutes, according to census data) and the highest air quality in the country.

Shane Goettle, commissioner of the state’s Department of Commerce, said those factors are important to maintaining worker happiness.

“Things that are in this report – short commutes, low crime rates, high air quality – all of these are things that factor into overall quality of life,” he said.

Goettle said the study validates the state’s economic approach. When he became commerce commissioner five years ago, North Dakota was ranked No. 5. It’s gained steadily since then, climbing one spot a year.

“To come out No. 1 reinforces what we’ve been doing in North Dakota to maintain a strong business climate,” he said.

North Dakota ranked highly in a number of categories tied to education, finishing in the top five in college enrollment, science and engineering graduate students, and academic research and development.

Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities, and technology transfer at North Dakota State University, said a strong research and technology base is a must-have for economic success.

Boudjouk said about 75 percent of NDSU’s $100 million-plus in annual research expenditures are spent in the Fargo-Moorhead area, giving the local economy a considerable shot in the arm.

There’s still a lag between the state’s academic prowess and high-tech business sector: North Dakota ranks No. 3 in science and engineering degrees per capita but No. 42 in scientists and engineers in the labor force. And the state came in No. 3 in research and development but No. 24 in patents per capita.

Boudjouk said if the state continues to produce high-level intellectual talent, the business side will catch up.

“It’s about getting word to the private sector that there are these opportunities here,” he said.
the only thing to keep in mind is the really really cold winters. i only sometimes miss those.

[song by good ol' gwen]