Duluth’s economy is thriving. It appears our beloved community has adroitly melded our working, industrial port heritage with a new entrepreneurial culture. It is a synergy that is creating opportunity for our community members and for future Duluthians.
Businesses, companies and corporations are making massive private investments in our community. Altec HiLine, ME Global, Enbridge, AAR, and maurices are expanding and, while doing so, bringing hundreds of new jobs to our Zenith City.
This investment is allowing Duluth to keep our unemployment rate lower than the state average and the national average. This is a remarkable and energizing reversal of Duluth’s fortunes. We have come a long way since the 1980’s when our unemployment rate was the highest in Minnesota.
The good news continues. Duluth is cultivating and supporting the most recent generation of entrepreneurs. They are choosing Duluth, in part, because they are striving in our authentic and adventurous city.
More jobs and opportunities are on Duluth’s breathtaking horizon. For the first time in decades, Duluth will soon have a wave of career job openings. Baby Boomers are in the twilight of our careers. There will soon be thousands of job openings in: healthcare, education, government, utilities and business services as my generation of Boomers retire. While this evolution is not unique to Duluth, it represents a unique opportunity for Duluth.
In the past, it was the lack of jobs in Duluth that kept hundreds of would-be Duluthians from making the pilgrimage to our Shining City on the Hill. The jobs are now available. It is time for your family members and your friends to see Duluth for what is has become – the land of opportunity.
In stark contrast to our revitalization – Suburbia is dying. There is a migration back to the urban core cities and back to the cities of heritage and distinction and natural beauty. Duluth enjoys all of these distinctions. We are a community that offers world class natural assets. Mayor Ness is intent on staking our claim as one of the world’s premier urban outdoor adventure cities.
Outdoor Magazine has discovered Duluth. The magazine ranked our city as one of the Top 10 places to live in the United States. Additionally, it recently identified Duluth as the second best outdoor adventure hub in the entire world. I am confident you will join me in forgiving Outdoor Magazine for not naming us as the best outdoor hub.
Duluthians have a profound connection to our hillside home. We also have a deep emotional connection to Lake Superior, the Greatest of the Great Lakes. It is this natural beauty that so beautifully complements our world-class healthcare, excellent educational opportunities, strong and safe neighborhoods, affordable housing. It is a rare community that offers all of these things.
In conclusion, a creative and engaged culture has been reborn in Duluth. Our deep working class roots have united with a progressive spirit to create a distinct blend of loyalty, pride and optimism. Visitors can witness it. Yet, to truly experience this compelling spirit, one must live amidst this remarkable topography. So, tell your family and friends who are not yet Duluthians to make their move. Now is the time. Tell them it is an ideal time to choose Duluth.
David Ross is the President & CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Connect with David to learn more about Chamber initiatives or subscribe to the president’s blog.