North Dakota has been in the national news lately with a feature story about people relocating to our region for jobs. The state has one of the healthiest economies in the nation, and good jobs can be located via North Dakota Job Service.
The majority of the newcomers head for Bismarck, Fargo & Grand Forks, our three largest cities. But, some choose rural areas. They joke that they are moving to "the middle of nowhere". I'm certain that it does feel that way, when they first arrive.
I'm not naive enough to think that everyone will love to live here. Our climate can be pretty miserable, especially in the dead of winter. Conveniences like all-night grocery stores or "big box discounters" are only found in a handful of North Dakota cities. Entertainment is not always easy to find in our little towns. For us, the closest shopping mall, Walmart, McDonald's, and Apple bee's are seventy miles away, and we're lucky if we get there once a month.
But, we try to focus on what we do have, rather than what we don't.
If they open their minds to the possibilities, and give us a chance, newcomers will find:
All in all, we are welcoming the newcomers with open arms. After so many years of "depopulation", we're excited to see some "re-population". It's a good thing for our state, our schools, and our communities. We hope the new residents will embrace our way of life, and will be happy here.
This isn't "the middle of nowhere", it's the "middle of somewhere really nice!"