The 2022 Interior Alaska Economic Summit has begun

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 6:22 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Improvement within the Fairbanks community takes the work of a team and that’s just what the 2022 Interior Alaska Economic Development Summit is for.

February 22 and 23, the Fairbanks North Star Borough will put on the Economic Summit at the Westmark Hotel and Conference Center.

The summit consists of meetings and presentations meant to review specific industries, and find the best ways to improve them moving forward.

Mayor Bryce Ward commented, “We really want to address those areas of concern and opportunity and then put a path forward together whether it be a specific project or a policy that needs to be changed… really actionable items that we can work on over the next five years.”

The meetings on Tuesday, February 22, consisted of breakout rooms involving industry cluster representatives from specific trades in our community discussing the pressing matters at hand.

These industries can include: agriculture, energy, forestry, health care, mining, visitor industry, research and innovation.

Wednesday’s agenda is focused on the community’s influencers, and ways that they can help improve and grow the community as a whole.

Ward adds, “We’re really looking at a whole new approach to things.”

CEDS is the borough’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy that will help to develop the community’s updated five year plan. The idea behind the CEDS is to provide a path forward for development in these industries. The updated CEDS will better position the community for funding and investment opportunities.

“Consistency and stability and how it plans to move forward with a budget is critical for businesses to make long term investment decisions,” remarks Ward.

When discussing the current planning process, Ward notes, “The lack of a physical plan and the stability at the statewide level really radiates out throughout the entire statewide economy.”

In spirits of attacking this project as a team and a community, Ward notes, “We really want to address those areas of concern and opportunity and then put a path forward together.”

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