Recently, our state set aside a week to honor South Dakota manufacturers. All across the state, large and small companies, manufacturing an unbelievable variety of products for local, regional and international use, help propel our economy forward. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation has helped to bring many of those manufacturing firms to South Dakota, and we are working to attract other productive companies to our area.
Throughout our four-county Metropolitan Statistical Area, there are 13,600 manufacturing jobs, accounting for nearly a third of South Dakota’s manufacturing positions. The manufacturing companies in our area employ 9 percent of our total workforce and generate an annual payroll of $645 million.
The ongoing contributions of manufacturing companies in our service area dramatize another vital role of the Development Foundation in making our economy stronger—business retention. On average, 80% of new jobs created in our region are the result of expansions by existing companies—many of which are manufacturing operations.
For over 40 years, our efforts to attract and retain companies have included affordable land options. By preparing and selling land for development we have been able to fund the majority of our regional economic development efforts.
Since the acquisition of land in the early 1970s and the establishment of the first 200-acre Sioux Empire Development Park, the Foundation has purchased over 2,100 acres of land in northern Sioux Falls. Nine Sioux Empire Development Parks, Foundation Park and Campus Crossing have been created on that land.
About 140 companies are currently located within the land developed by the Foundation, bringing over 12,000 jobs in businesses ranging from call centers to medical research facilities to manufacturing operations.
By providing companies with information about our regional market, working to ensure that growing firms have local suppliers to meet their needs and developing optimal development park sites into which growing businesses can expand, the Development Foundation is making it possible for local companies to grow right here in the Sioux Falls area.
And the economic impact from the efforts of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and these companies is immense. The employment in the Sioux Empire Development Parks over the past 15 years, multiplied by annual wage numbers, adds up to an impact of $6.8 billion.
We salute our local manufacturers and their importance in strengthening the economy of our state and our communities. The Development Foundation is proud to partner with manufacturers in finding a Sioux Falls area location and in growing their businesses to create new jobs and build a better future for South Dakota.
by Dale Froehlich
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