Hoeven, Chamber Host State of Technology Conference

North Dakota Ranks First in Nation in STEM Job Growth

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today touted North Dakota’s first-place ranking in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) job growth in the Enterprising States study and encouraged business leaders to continue to build on this success and grow the state’s tech industry. Hoeven and the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce hosted The State of Technology: The Next Generation of Jobs in North Dakota, a business conference designed to highlight cutting-edge innovations in North Dakota’s key industries and help businesses use technology to grow and increase their success.

“We’ve worked hard to build a strong legal, tax and regulatory environment in our state to attract businesses and grow and diversify our economy,” said Hoeven. “The Enterprising States study recognizes that North Dakota is a good place to do business for the tech sector and other key industries. The companies represented here today, and many others in our state, are leading the way and employing innovative technologies to grow their business and create good jobs for North Dakotans. We need to build on their successes to continue our leadership, and that’s exactly what we’re working to do today.”

Hoeven was joined by Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce President Craig Whitney and keynote speakers Doug Burgum, founder of Great Plains Software, and Google executive Jeff Davis at a news conference to highlight technological innovations in the state’s key industries. Other participants include Dean Bresciani, North Dakota State University President; Caroline McEnnis, Director of Design Engineering Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM; Don Morton, Microsoft Senior Director; Barry Batcheller, Appareo Systems CEO; Tom Budan, John Deere Electronic Solutions General Manager; Michael Chambers, Aldevron President/CEO; Jim Traynor, Intelligent InSites Director of Client/Channel Management and Joel Jorgenson, Packet Digital CEO.

The Enterprising States study ranked North Dakota first in STEM job growth, as well as long-term job growth, short-term job growth, gross state product growth and per capita income growth. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber Foundation and the Campaign for Free Enterprise released the comprehensive study to show how each state is creating an environment that will help private sector businesses to succeed.

Hoeven said the state’s information technology (IT) industry is a good example of a key sector in the state with opportunities for growth. According to the Information Technology Council of North Dakota, the state’s IT industry includes more than 450 businesses, with IT jobs paying an annual average wage 43% higher than the state average. IT is an integral component in all industries, including agriculture, energy, finance and manufacturing.

Hoeven is a member of the Senate GOP High-Tech Task Force, which works to ensure that the nation’s technology firms remain at the forefront of the world economy. The task force’s objectives include promoting private sector innovation, creating a business environment to attract leading worldwide technology, enhancing the nation’s competitive workforce and other pro-growth tech policies.