Too often economic development planning efforts are a response to an economic downturn. The need to collaborate among municipalities, coordinate planning initiatives, and leverage regional assets is considered a temporary activity - necessary only to right the ship and set a new course.
The Valley Prosperity Partnership (VPP) is not one of those planning efforts. Rather, VPP stakeholders have come together to plan and do while the region is in a position of economic strength. Low unemployment, safe communities, new business investment, and growing research and development have created a level of prosperity for the Valley that is unprecedented.
The VPP is a regional economic development initiative focused on doing just that. By identifying opportunities where the Valley can be more effective by working together, versus independently, the VPP aims to make a real and positive difference in the regional economy. The VPP will make an impact felt in all parts of the Red River Valley, by all of its residents and businesses over the next 5 years by building upon core strengths and high-value resources, working to reduce barriers to growth, and further distinguishing the region.
The Red River Valley spans the borders of Minnesota and North Dakota. The Valley is anchored by the economic centers of Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, and Wahpeton-Breckenridge. The VPP has been formed to identify common strategic economic development opportunities throughout the Valley.
The VPP Steering Committee is comprised of economic developers, college and university leaders, private sector business leaders, community leaders, and others who recognize the importance of collaboration and leveraging resources. Collectively, the committee represents more than 16,000 employees with a total annual payroll of over $780 million. The VPP is working to bring all communities in the Valley together to develop a unified, shared vision for high value and sustained economic growth for all its residents by:
- Advocating the Valley’s interests and concerns to state and federal elected officials
- Leveraging and promoting existing resources Creating new programs and resources that address gaps or limitations
- Strengthening public and private sector partnerships and communication
- Building upon the Vally’s research and higher education strengths
- Influencing current and future public policy strategically Developing clear and transparent performance measures to gauge impact