"North Dakota, indeed the world, faces challenges," says the state's Chamber of Commerce.
"Talent not evenly distributed."
That's why the chamber is applauding lawmakers' decision to allocate $25 million to 13 career tech education centers across the state to help attract and retain talent, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
The money will go to such centers as the Valley Academy in Grand Forks, the Career Innovation Center in Fargo, and others to help train young people for jobs in robotics, virtual reality, and other fields that are in high demand in North Dakota.
"There's a lot of talent out there," says Brian Johnson, president of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce.
"It's just a question of how do we take that talent and use it to attract more people to North Dakota and keep them here?" The money will come from a variety of sources, including $5 million in new tax credits for businesses that hire young people through internships and other programs.
Doug Burgum, who signed the bill, says the money will help North Dakota "stay on the cutting edge of innovation and entrepreneurship" and "attract and retain the best and the brightest," the Bismarck Tribune reports.
Critics, however, say the money doesn't go far enough
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