Our tables are filled with promise and potential

When economic developers gather around tables to give thanks for their blessings, those tables are usually piled with reports and stacks of data, rather than the inviting seasonal feasts of November. But even in economic development, it is important to pause during the harvest season and look back at the year we’ve just come through—and offer thanks for the things we accomplished during 2016.


Here in Sioux Falls, we’re celebrating another solid year of growth, with nearly $612 million in construction value, over 6,600 building permits issued and capital investment at $387.3 million. The Development Foundation contacted 2,146 companies this year, reached out to prospective new businesses in Canada and hosted Twin Cities business decision makers. We hired a vice president of workforce development, began making roads and infrastructure improvements in Foundation Park and sponsored groundbreakings in every corner of our community.


We often forget that there are cities in America where the biggest concern is keeping the streets paved, the schools open and the water flowing. The Sioux Falls area has proven its resilience, thanks to business owners who help grow the future by investing in Forward Sioux Falls and quietly expanding their companies and adding employees. In fact, here in Sioux Falls our challenges mostly revolve around the steady economic growth we see each year.


That growth is driven by hard-working people who serve our community and deserve thanks every day. Public officials, volunteer board members and public spirited citizens who become involved to discuss community challenges and find innovative new solutions are helping to build the future for our entire region.


Thanks to an effective national marketing effort, people and publications throughout the US are discovering the advantages of living and working in the Sioux Falls area. National media praise our business climate, our quality of life and the fact that living in Sioux Falls is great for start up companies, retirees, entrepreneurs, women in business and families. That drives our population growth and our business prospects.


We have so much to be thankful for. Our tables are filled with promise and potential as we confidently look forward to 2017.


By Slater Barr, President

Workforce Training: The Sioux Falls Advantage

There is better training for our workforce in Sioux Falls. A multitude of options are available to meet businesses' needs at the postsecondary level including city programs, state grants, technical training, and a new $50 million scholarship program for technical school students.

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