Chairman's Report: Development Foundation looks forward to another record year

The Development Foundation and the Sioux Falls business community are entering 2018 on a wave of solid growth, with five straight years of record-setting construction activity behind us and another year of major projects ahead. We set another record at the Development Foundation last year with 15 groundbreakings, a clear signal of the kind of growth we can expect this year.


The role of the Development Foundation is to maintain that momentum, with a high priority on matching new and expanding companies with available sites in Foundation Park and other locations throughout the community. We’ve been working with a wide variety of businesses during the past two years, and plan on making announcements this year about new Sioux Falls corporate citizens.


We’ll also be working in the next few months to find a new president for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. We’re looking for a leader who can keep the Development Foundation moving in a positive direction, one with experience and the capability to strengthen and enhance our job creation and business recruitment efforts. We’re working with national experts to identify the attributes we need, and hope to have someone on board by spring. After we have named a new president, we can determine the best way to staff our workforce development initiatives, another of our organization’s high priorities.


As a past chairman of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, I am also interested in exploring the ways in which the various entities in the Commerce Building can establish additional collaborative initiatives to maintain our regional economic growth. The Development Foundation, Forward Sioux Falls, the Chamber and the CVB, while having different strategies, all have the same goal—to make Sioux Falls and the surrounding area the best place in America to live and work. If we can strengthen our partnership, it’s a win-win for everyone.


We have so much going for our community. Many other locations regard Sioux Falls as a shining star, because we work to do things right. From our annual United Way campaign, which I was proud to chair, to our growing reputation as a city for championship sports, we serve as an example of excellence. The transformation of downtown Sioux Falls has energized growth in the city center, as more and more people enjoy living and shopping there.


Another solid element in our success is our educational community, both public and private. During my time as school board president, I had the opportunity to observe the dedication and commitment to Sioux Falls exhibited by teachers and administrators. Our schools are doing a great job, and contributing substantially to preparing Sioux Falls and its business community for the future.


2018 promises to be another fantastic year for growth in our community and for our organization. We are determined to do everything necessary to build our economy, provide opportunity for businesses and families and grow our talent pool throughout the region. Working with economic development partners on the state, county and local levels, we’ll do our best to make this year another record-setting year of progress for our community and state.


By Bob Thimjon, Board Chairman


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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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