Division of Economic Development

Northern Opportunity: Alaska's Economic Strategy

Purposeful and well-managed public-private economic development efforts create economic vitality that will give every community in Alaska opportunities to grow and prosper—which is why the State of Alaska is leading the effort to develop a statewide comprehensive economic development strategy. Northern Opportunity: Alaska’s Economic Strategy will evaluate economic opportunities to maximize Alaska’s unique advantages while providing the flexibility to adapt to changing national and global economic conditions.

Building on past efforts, the statewide strategy will rely on extensive community and industry input to develop a shared vision for Alaska’s future economy. The strategy will make actionable recommendations for the most efficient use of public and private assets to strengthen Alaska’s economy. The collaborative, long-term strategy will provide a clear path to jobs for the next generation of Alaskans and will prepare us to more quickly recover from disruptions to our resource-based economy.

Coordinated by the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Economic Development with assistance from the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, the strategy-development process will engage community leaders, leverage the commitment of the private sector, and establish a blueprint for statewide collaboration while strengthening regional planning efforts. Development of the statewide strategy is supported by a $100,000 planning grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The official launch took place at the Alaska State Chamber Fall Forum in Kenai on October 13, 2016.

Industry and community forums will be held throughout the autumn of 2016. Alaskans who are unable to attend a forum are invited to participate via an online survey

A strategic committee is overseeing the development process. The majority of the committee members represent the main economic interests in Alaska; the committee also includes public officials, community leaders, workforce development experts, minority and labor group representation, and private individuals. The committee members will engage with their networks to create an inclusive approach to the statewide process. 

It is anticipated that the strategy will be released for comment in early 2017. 

Visit NorthernOpportunity.com to sign up to receive updates about progress of the strategy development via email.

Community Forums

The Division of Economic Development, with assistance from the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, are conducting community forums across the state, and utilizing the topics outlined in Northern Opportunity Goals. This provides a basis for conversation and ideas relating to the relevant topics for economic development and community direction.

Information about community forums will be posted as available. 

Kenai Peninsula Community Forum
October 20, 2016
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Kenai Peninsula College Residence Hall Multipurpose Room
156 College Road, Soldotna, AK 99669

Matanuska-Susitna Community Forum
October 27, 2016
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Matanuska-Susitna Borough Building
350 E Dahlia Ave, Palmer, AK 99645

Fairbanks Community Forum
November 2, 2016
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
UAF Engineering Building

Nome Community Forum
December 6, 2016
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
Nome Covenant Church Fellowship

Kotzebue Community Forum
December 9, 2016 

Strategy Committee
Previous Economic Development Initiatives