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:
From the Executive Committee
This is an historic and pivotal time for the Red River Valley. Spanning the borders of North Dakota and Minnesota, the Valley and its recent economic performance has far outpaced the Nation’s economy. With rapid job growth and diversified industry, our region must take advantage of its unique position of strength to plan for a vibrant, equitable and sustainable economic future.
In 2013, several of the Valley’s private sector industry and higher education leaders came together with our economic development partners to do just that. Spurred by the vision of a $100,000 investment from Forum Communications Company Chairman William C. Marcil, the Valley Prosperity Partnership (VPP) was formed to identify common strategic economic development opportunities.
We are working to bring communities throughout the Valley together to develop a unified, shared vision for high value and sustained economic growth for all our 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 Building upon our research and higher education strengths
Influencing current and future public policy strategically
Developing clear and transparent performance measures to gauge impact
Now, VPP's framework for action addresses several key priorities that are critical to industry, higher education and community leaders, and include talent development, research, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and communication. The end of this process marks the start of another. Our action plan is meant to serve as a guide for continued partnerships and action. We envision that through a focused working group structure, the VPP will engage new stakeholders, civic leaders and industry to build on this effort and undertake activities that should be and are best done at a regional level. A very special thank you to Mr. Marcil, the VPP Steering Committee and all those who have contributed their time, talent and knowledge to this process. It would not have been possible without it. Please join us in this effort. Visit for additional updates and to engage with the VPP.
Marshal Albright Steve Burian
VPP Co-Chair VPP Co-Chair
Judd Graham Brian Johnson
Vice Co-Chair Vice Co-Chair