Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 10, 2023

Burgum, Miller recognize team members with 2023 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service

Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller announced the 2023 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service on Thursday, recognizing team members across state government for their commitment to providing the highest levels of service to North Dakota.

“We continue to be impressed by the exceptional work and new and innovative ways in which members of Team North Dakota are making a positive difference in the lives of our citizens,” Burgum said. “Nearly 1,000 nominations were received this year from individuals highlighting the accomplishments and outstanding work of their fellow team members. We are deeply grateful for the award recipients and all Team ND members for their dedication to our citizens and their tireless efforts as they deliver on our shared purpose to Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success.”

Burgum and Miller presented the awards during a ceremony livestreamed from the North Dakota Heritage Center during State Team Member Recognition Month.

The awards and recipients are:

Pioneer Award for Excellence in Innovation: Lucas Pippenger, Active Defense Team lead in North Dakota Information Technology, for his innovative efforts to transform how the state responds to cyberthreats, as well as his work on the 12-state Joint Cyber Security Operations Center, a cyberthreat intelligence-sharing group founded by North Dakota.

Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Capt. Bryan Niewind, North Dakota Highway Patrol, for responding with professional aid in times of great stress and tragedy, including in the aftermath of officer-involved shootings in Fargo in 2022 and 2023, as well as his efforts to support and enhance Vision Zero with new traffic safety strategies.

Harvest Award for Excellence in Quality: Taylor DeVries, environmental scientist, Department of Environmental Quality Spill Response team, for her ability to effectively and knowledgeably communicate and work with landowners and operators during spills and her commitment to remediating and protecting North Dakota lands for future generations.

Landmark Award for Excellence in People Management: Tony Hillig, recreation chief, North Dakota Parks and Recreation, for his leadership in allowing the recreation team to best use their skills and experience, including with off highway vehicle (OHV) and snowmobile safety training courses, and his instrumental role in developing a working relationship around OHV trails on both tribal lands and the Turtle Mountain State Recreation Area.

Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology: Travis Lutman, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) engineer, Department of Transportation, for his instrumental work in developing a network of ITS devices across the state highway system to improve the travel experience and safety on North Dakota roads.

Heritage Award for Excellence in Citizen Focus: Garrett McLain, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for his work with the Restoring Promise Initiative at the State Penitentiary and its U.N.I.T.Y. Village, helping prison residents become productive and safe neighbors when they return to the community.

Frontier Award for Excellence in Continuous Learning: Charlene Rittenbach, senior forensic scientist in the North Dakota Crime Lab, for her enthusiastic work to embrace change and educate others in the field of forensic science, including her work on a highly technical bill related to synthetic cannabinoids during the most recent legislative session.

Sodbuster Award for Excellence in Growth Mindset: Nancy Nikolas Maier, director of Aging Services in the Department of Health and Human Services, for her work in transforming how North Dakotans think of aging services, inspiring her team to seek people-first solutions and supports, and leading the charge to help North Dakotans age in place as members of their communities.

Roaming Bison Award (Team) – 3 recipients:

  • ND Roads Travel Map team, for providing users of the ND Roads app with accurate and real-time updates on road conditions – especially during significant weather events – helping to keep the traveling public informed and highlighting the work of the road crews, law enforcement and first responders who keep the roads open and safe.
  • Turtle Mountain Forest Management team, for their joint efforts between the North Dakota Forest Service, Game and Fish Department, NDSU Extension and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa to ensure the unique and cherished forest area is managed sustainably for current and future generations.
  • Pembina Gorge State Park founding team, for their work to achieve the designation of North Dakota’s newest state park in over 30 years, including a carefully designed and executed plan to garner support from the legislature and the public, highlighting the incredible tourism and recreation opportunities of the Pembina Gorge.

North Dakota named first rural state to receive 10,000 Small Businesses program by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses on Friday announced a $100 million Investment in Rural Communities across the country to support job creation and economic growth.

The rural initiative, launching first in North Dakota and Arkansas, is an extension of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, which has served over 14,000 businesses across the country for more than a decade by providing access to education and capital. The initiative will reach rural small business owners in 20 states in the next five years.

"Small businesses are critical to the health of the U.S. economy, and this investment by Goldman Sachs will help train and support our next generation of risk takers and job creators in North Dakota," Gov. Burgum said. "As our administration continues to focus on growing and diversifying the economy, we are grateful to Goldman Sachs for bringing its 10,000 Small Businesses program to North Dakota to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs."

The $100 million commitment will provide comprehensive support to rural small business owners and includes $75 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) – starting first with a partnership with Dakota Business Lending – to provide loans to small businesses, $15 million to fund the 10,000 Small Businesses education program at local community colleges and $10 million in access to capital capacity-building grants.

"Small businesses are engines of economic growth in our country and that’s especially true in our rural communities," said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon. "I’m excited to expand our 10,000 Small Businesses program to provide more entrepreneurs with the training, tools and access to capital they need to create more jobs and drive our economy forward."

Gov. Burgum, Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven visit during Friday's announcement at Bismarck State College.

Burgum signs executive order creating Teacher Retention and Recruitment Task Force

Applications currently being accepted for service on task force

Gov. Burgum has signed an executive order creating a Task Force for Teacher Retention and Recruitment to address the state’s chronic teacher shortage.

“North Dakota students deserve high-quality teachers in every classroom across our state, and school districts shouldn’t be scrambling every summer to fill positions at the last minute,” Burgum said. “By bringing together stakeholders from across the education community, we can identify and recommend policies and best practices for retaining and recruiting teachers, providing them with the resources and support they need to be successful and deliver a world-class education to their students.”

The Task Force will consist of 11 to 15 voting members appointed by the governor and representing stakeholders across the education community. The governor and state superintendent of public instruction, or their designees, will serve as voting members. Non-voting members also may be requested to participate. The Task Force will conduct stakeholder meetings and roundtable discussions across the state to gather feedback from pertinent stakeholder groups.

Members will make recommendations in several areas, including increasing recruitment to the teaching profession, improving teacher preparation programs, teacher licensure, teacher evaluation, working conditions and supports, as well as reviewing compensation and contracts. The Task Force must provide a final report with recommendations to the governor and superintendent by Sept. 30, 2024, and identify partners to sponsor legislation during the 2025 legislative session.

Burgum announced his intention to create the Task Force on Aug. 8, at the same time granting a request from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) for emergency rulemaking to give school districts additional flexibility that temporarily allows expanded use of student teachers to help address the state’s teacher shortage.

Individuals interested in serving on the Task Force may apply through Sept. 27 at the Boards section of the Governor’s Office website.

Burgum statement on Biden administration banning rail transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG)

Gov. Burgum released the following statement Tuesday regarding action taken by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to ban the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail, reversing the authorization provided under President Donald Trump in 2020.

“At a time when rising energy prices are emptying pocketbooks and choking our economy, the Biden administration continues to push its astoundingly misguided energy policy by cutting off yet another path toward American energy security,” Burgum said. “While North Dakota doesn’t move LNG by rail, it’s clear the Biden administration will stop at nothing until every form of fossil fuel production and transportation is outlawed, putting our nation’s energy security at grave risk. We should be selling energy to our friends and allies instead buying it from our adversaries and erecting more roadblocks to U.S. energy independence.”

Burgum statement on DAPL draft environmental impact statement released by Army Corps of Engineers

Gov. Burgum released the following statement Friday after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the easement for the existing Dakota Access Pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe.

“For more than six years, the state-of-the-art Dakota Access Pipeline has safely moved over half a million barrels of oil per day from North Dakota – strengthening our nation’s energy security, increasing revenues to our state, local communities and mineral owners, and making our highways and communities safer by removing the need for thousands of tanker trucks and hundreds of railcars every day,” Burgum said. “Now, under this court-ordered DEIS prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers, three of the five alternatives would effectively force DAPL to shut down. This is simply unacceptable and would only force oil onto other modes of transportation that are more costly to consumers, less safe and less friendly to the environment. The Corps should bring an end to this unnecessary and costly process by reaffirming the existing easement under Alternative 3 and continuing to allow the safe and clean operation of this critical infrastructure project, instead of allowing the Biden administration to continue its war on American energy, which only empowers foreign dictators and puts our national security at risk.”

Miller highlights progress on state-tribal relations at Tribal Leaders Summit

Lt. Gov. Miller on Tuesday highlighted progress made on state-tribal relations during the annual Tribal Leaders Summit hosted by United Tribes Technical College at the Bismarck Event Center.

"We have the people and the abundant resources at our disposal to tackle even the biggest challenges and improve the lives of every North Dakotan. We’ll get there by bringing together leaders from every level of government, finding solutions through innovation over regulation, and working toward our shared goals," Miller said. "True government-to-government collaboration takes time and a commitment to building relationships based on understanding and mutual respect. So, thank you all for taking the time to be here and for dedicating your energy to being leaders in your communities, your schools, or wherever you may serve."

The Tribal Leaders Summit provides a platform to learn about innovative ideas, best practices and relevant approaches in tribal leadership, governance and sovereignty. The event is now in its 26th year and attracts approximately 700 attendees who represent tribal leadership, and federal and state partners, from throughout the Great Plains and Indian Country.

United Tribes Technical College students attend as part of their college curriculum to gain insights into future career opportunities as part of the event.

Keynote speakers announced for Recovery Reinvented Oct. 5

Gov. Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum are inviting the general public to join them for Recovery Reinvented, an event dedicated to eliminating the shame and stigma of the disease of addiction, on Oct. 5 in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the campus of Minot State University. The event will also be livestreamed.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is currently open for both in-person and online attendees.

This will be the first time the event is held in Minot, having previously been hosted in Bismarck three times, once in Fargo, once in Grand Forks and virtually in 2020. The daylong event will feature state and national addiction and recovery experts who will focus on reinventing recovery through the sharing of stories, creating recovery-friendly cultures in the workplace and community, and eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction.

The keynote speaker lineup includes:

  • Dr. Lipi Roy, an internal medicine physician who is board-certified in addiction medicine. Roy is the founder of SITA MED, an addiction/health speaking company, as well as a sought-after international speaker, media personality and host of the YouTube series “Health, Humor and Harmony.”
  • Dr. Stephen Loyd, chief medical officer for Cedar Recovery in Tennessee and the current chair of the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council, appointed by current Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. Loyd has been in recovery from opioid and benzodiazepine addiction since July 8, 2004.
  • Scott Davis, who served as executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission from 2009 to 2021, serving three governors and 23 tribal chairs. Davis is 17 years sober. “As I enter 17 years of sobriety, day by day I am thankful to Creator for a beautiful life, I am also grateful and excited to share my story at this year’s Recovery Reinvented,” he said.

The speakers’ full bios can be found on Recovery Reinvented’s website.

On Recovery Reinvented’s social media, there will be opportunities to submit nominations for the Recovery Champion awards, which honor local individuals and groups making an impact in the field of addiction and recovery. In addition to nominations, there is the opportunity to share and submit stories of recovery.

Addiction and recovery-related nonprofit organizations and service providers also are encouraged to join the Recovery Resources Expo, which will connect people to extensive addiction, recovery and mental health organizations and resources from across the state. Anyone interested in these opportunities to get involved can visit recoveryreinvented.com to learn more and sign up.

Registration is open on Eventbrite, with additional updates being shared on recoveryreinvented.com and by the Governor, First Lady, and Recovery Reinvented’s social media on Facebook @GovernorDougBurgum, @FirstLadyND and @RecoveryND and on Instagram and X @FirstLadyND and @Recovery_ND.

Join us for the Main Street ND Summit

The 2023 summit will take place Oct. 24-25 in Watford City

North Dakota's economy is changing, and attracting skilled workforce to your company and community is more important than ever. To attract the best and brightest, private and public sectors need to work together to tell the story and show why employees need to call North Dakota home.

The 2023 North Dakota Main Street ND Summit is your opportunity to learn from experts and network with other community leaders. The theme this year is Innovative Workforce Solutions. The summit will feature nationally renowned keynote speakers and hands-on workshops that will provide you with the tools to attract and retain the next generation of North Dakota’s workforce.

There are several tours and activities that you can also sign up for when you register.