This Is A True Story*


Usually when a conversation about Promise programs begins, it is focused on education. But the notion of economic development has been drawing interest and catching up as a sidekick to the education component.

But in a recent story in Prairie Business Magazine, the idea of starting a Promise program is mentioned as a way to attract workers to fortify and grow the local economy in Fargo, N.D. Education appears to be an afterthought.

In the forefront of the discussion is the “massive competition in every industry,” said Craig Whitney, the president of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. One anecdote is that jobs are so plentiful in the region that UPS drivers have been lured away from their job while making deliveries, abandoning trucks with keys and packages inside.

So in conjunction with TIP Strategies of Austin, Texas, a consulting firm conducting a six-month study of the area’s workforce, everything is on the table. That includes mention of a Promise program to bring workers to the area with the lure of education benefits for their children.

“Part of this study that we’re embarking on through this consulting firm may give us some ideas of what can be done to retain and recruit workers,” he said. “We just don’t have enough people to support the growth.”

* Here is the story of this reference.