I am forgoing the typical numerical analysis for the purposes of the current post and just trying to reason through the problem that is economic development and economic development policy in Grand Forks. I got to spend some time in other cities over the last few days and so I have some fairly fresh points of comparison in mind.
JT and I talked about the issue of economic development in Grand Forks on the Jarrod Thomas Show today. Let me preface my remarks with a recognition that economic development is a difficult process, whether we are talking about managing it, reacting to it, hoping for it, or whatever. Development can inherently alter relationships in an economy, and in unpredictable ways. (Note I am not advocating management of economic developing because I think that often creates its own issues but we can discuss that later.)
I get many questions about local economic development these days. The specific geography is usually either Grand Forks, city, county or metropolitan area, or the counties in northeast North Dakota. These questions come on the radio, from newspaper reporters, and general conversations from the public. The basic form of the question is, “What can or should Grand Forks do to grow and develop?”