BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET)– Tuesday kicked off the first day of the 2022 Main Street North Dakota Summit.

The annual event is part of Governor Doug Burgum’s Main Street Initiative to revitalize the state’s communities.

This year’s theme is “Inspiring Community-Driven Workforce.”

“I think we definitely learned after all of our shutdowns and now that we are trying to reemerge back into whatever our new normal is it’s really about building those connections,” said Shannan Paul, EMCEE and speaker at the summit.

Paul didn’t grow up in North Dakota but is choosing to stay in the Midwest. Paul gave a presentation as to why North Dakota is so great.

“I think there are very special things that make us what we are here in the Midwest and that’s what I’m going to talk about,” said Paul.

Vaney Hariri is the co-founder of Think 3D and will be speaking at the summit about the importance of community.

“How do we do a better job at embracing each other as a community recruitment and retention,” said Hariri. “We don’t mean that as a job idea or neighbor idea. A lot of the reasons people want to work at a job is because of the people who work at the job. And a lot of times the reason people want to live in a community is because of the people in the community.”

The event also had several performing artists showcasing their art.

There were break-out sessions, which were led by a variety of national, state, and local leaders, who provided advice and resources.

“There’s just a ton of different resources all in one place,” said Paul. “And that’s what’s best about things like this Summit.”

Amanda Brinkman is also a speaker at the event. Brinkman hosts a television show called Small Business revolution and has traveled across the country to learn more about small communities.

“I will be sharing the five common traits I have seen across the country and visiting hundreds of small towns. I will also the five common traits in thriving communities,” said Brinkman.

There were a ton of vendors and over 36 different resource tables available for attendees.

Wednesday is the last day of the summit.