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The North Dakota Department of Commerce today announced the recipients of the 2021 Main Street Awards.  

“We are deeply grateful for the efforts seen across North Dakota by communities that are passionate about applying the principles of the Main Street Initiative,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “Creating healthy, vibrant communities with smart, efficient infrastructure that will attract and retain a 21st century workforce requires a team effort, and these awards demonstrate the success we can achieve as a state when we work as one.”   

ND Legendary Heritage Award – Lisbon, for the Sandager Park Pavilion preservation and update. The Sandager Park Pavilion was established in the early 1900s and underwent a project so it can be utilized for another 100 years.  

Healthy, Vibrant Community Award – Milnor, for creating a healthy and happy community with a mural on Main Street that celebrates the Sheyenne National Grasslands named “Gateway to the Grasslands”; excellent use of an unused space next to their City Hall, incorporating a patio, curved bench, and flowers; and the addition of a walking path and wildlife observation deck on Storm Lake to improve quality of life for residents and visitors with exercise and enjoyment of North Dakota’s outdoors.  

Smart, Efficient Infrastructure Award – Hettinger, for two years of planning and renovating a vacant, dilapidated downtown building. The project has resulted in the opening of The Rural Collective, a state-of-the-art technology space designed to support all big ideas, from events and businesses to clubs and classes.  

21st Century Workforce Award – Devils Lake, for the 20 by 20 Skilled Workforce Recruitment and Retention Program. The Devils Lake community worked together to help reduce the number of high school graduates who leave the community through the development and implementation of the 20 by 20 Skilled Recruitment and Retention Program. This program, with the help of high school counselors and administrators, educates graduating youth in high need careers all towards a goal of encouraging students to consider a local career in a skilled and technical program.  

21st Century Workforce Award – Grand Forks for the Greater Grand Forks Relocation Guide and the “What’s Cooler Today?” blog created through InternGF. As a one-of-a-kind regional internship program, InternGF provides hands-on learning experiences for students at the University of North Dakota. The program helps students achieve valuable work experience and increase employability. The workforce funding program has forged partnerships with the local university, private sector businesses, and community startups. It has also highlighted regional opportunities for college students.  

Main Street Excellence Award – Bottineau for their downtown beautification. Community members and leaders teamed up to find creative sources of funding to complete projects including new town signage, new and updated murals, updates and enhancements at local parks, remodel of the Old Main building to expand their nursing program, expanded walking paths with new benches, increased activities and safety measures for annual events, and an update to the entry and dressing room area to their ice arena.  

Main Street Excellence Award – Bowman County for completing three projects: The Main Street Garden, Mainspace, and Festival of Lights. The Main Street Garden is a garden and park space that provides free fresh and locally grown produce. Mainspace brings a modern workspace and education opportunities to numerous local businesses. Festival of Lights is an annual park lighting and community celebration event that includes over 30 businesses, churches, and organizations that make it possible.  

The Main Street Awards are a collaborative effort of the Office of Governor and Commerce. A selection committee made up of the collaborating agencies and partners judge the entries to make final awards, which will be presented at the Main Street ND Summit on Oct. 12 in West Fargo, North Dakota. Information and registration for the summit can be found at mainstreetsummitnd.com.

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