By now, you've probably heard the news about the purchase of land in Foundation Park by Amazon, thanks to the hard work of our partners at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. While the size of the Sioux Falls facility is still in the planning stage, other Amazon projects have brought 1,000 new jobs, in addition to the construction workforce that will build the facility. The Amazon announcement is a reminder that successful economic development helps every community in our metro area and every household in our communities.
First and foremost, new jobs attract families who buy and build houses, shop in local stores, and attend regional schools. We know that in a vibrant metro area like ours, people don't always live in the same community in which they are employed. The construction jobs and any new Amazon positions coming to our region will be filled by people who will live throughout Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties.
In addition, a new Amazon facility will connect with existing companies and services in our metro area, creating a ripple effect of new industry in our region. In the past, new companies with national and international impact have located in the communities around Sioux Falls and have driven prosperity throughout the two county area and beyond.
In Brandon, Marmen Energy has recruited welders and other metalworkers from a wide geographical area. Showplace Cabinetry, with facilities in Harrisburg and Beresford, employs hundreds who commute from the tri-state region and does business with a variety of local companies. In Canton, Adams Thermal has an international customer base and a growing regional labor force. These companies benefit their headquarters communities, but are also helping to grow the entire metro area, driving home construction, service industry growth, and population increases.
Amazon will do that, too—increasing housing demand, creating spinoff industries, and encouraging families to seek opportunity in our region. That's what economic development does—and why it's worth the time it takes to attract new companies to our area and retain the strong businesses we already have. The success of economic development benefits us all.
By Jesse Fonkert, Executive Director, Lincoln & Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations
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