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Politics & Government

ND Commerce director retiring

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Courtesy ND Dept. of Commerce
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North Dakota’s Commerce Commissioner will retire at the end of the year.

Al Anderson has been with Commerce for six years – and he said that makes him the longest serving Commerce Commissioner in state history.

Anderson said coming to government from the oil and gas industry, he was very familiar with “boom towns” – and he said the biggest change he’s seen in the state’s economy has been to riseto the challenge of infrastructure to support the economy.

"Now, we've had ag prices down for four years, and oil prices down for three years," Anderson said. "So even though our energy has slowed a little bit, the biggest change is not as much demand on that local infrastructure. There's still needs."

Anderson said workforce hasn't been as big an issue as it has in the recent past.

"It's still really more about diversifying the economy," Anderson said. "that's always been on e of our pillars. But it's even more important right now."

Anderson said he thinks North Dakota has been handling the ups and downs of oil and agriculture. And he said he firmly believes it’s a matter of time before the economy picks up again.

"With less revenues coming in, we've had to make cuts, and we'll make continued ones," Anderson said. "But those are more of a prioritization. Honestly, we've caught up in a lot of areas. So the pressure is off a little bit. We've handled it pretty well,"

New Governor Doug Burgum will appoint Anderson’s successor.

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