Bryce Heustis, Fargo
North Dakotans should have a strong perception and outlook of its energy industry. Because of oil and gas, our state is thriving. Record-setting tax revenues are reducing income and property taxes. Oil production is driving manufacturing growth for equipment and oilfield supplies. Construction is up across the state as new businesses and new residents move to North Dakota and power our real estate markets.
While other graduates across the country fight for any job at any pay, our college students are finding great jobs in professional fields. As a student myself, I see my friends receive job offers from North Dakota firms that can't find enough people to hire. They get to stay here at home while pursuing ambitious careers, a very different situation than the North Dakota of just a few years ago.
It's time to stop being shortsighted in our attitude of the growth in western North Dakota. While we can recognize the needs of the region, the vision of what's to come is so much better. Communities are growing and adding new services they have never had before. As time continues, they'll build better infrastructure allowing for new housing and businesses. These communities will be full of young families with incredible opportunities.
The oil and gas industry has given our state great jobs and wages, opportunities for professionals and workers, unlimited potential for entrepreneurs to start small businesses, and a thriving economy.