Vision West ND (VWND) gets things done. This unprecedented consortium is the largest collaborative in the state’s history, with a membership of 19 counties, state and federal agencies, energy industry representatives, Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, regional planning councils, universities, and the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation. Launched with the strong support of Dunn County to address growth challenges related to the region’s burgeoning energy sector, VWND brings communities together to develop sustainable, community-based solutions to regional issues.
In its first three years of operations, VWND successfully completed a sustainability plan that identified child care, housing, emergency services, transportation and water as the region’s key issues. The organization’s creative approaches produced a significant increase in availability of child care and a measurable difference in housing options. VWND’s cost-effective regional concept soon will address gaps in emergency medical services. Its plan to use a ferry to connect the Three Affiliated Tribes, who are separated on the north and south sides of Lake Sakakawea, is in the exploration and development phase.
As Western North Dakota faces a slowdown in the energy sector and a drop in agricultural prices, VWND is bringing its trademark flexibility and trusted relationships to bear on new challenges.