Regional economic development associations prepare for new leadership

Jan. 15, 2020

Mike Wendland

Eric Pauli

This paid piece is sponsored by the Lincoln County and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations.

By Eric Pauli, president of the Lincoln County Economic Development Association, and Mike Wendland, president of the Minnehaha County Economic Development Association

For the past seven years, executive director Nick Fosheim has led our two organizations and helped shape the growth of regional economic development in our two-county area. Fosheim, who has accepted a position helping another organization, will be missed by the Lincoln County and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations — but our work goes on.

The search for a new executive director is well underway, and we will be making an announcement soon about our selection. As we prepare for new opportunities and new leadership in 2020, we can look back on the solid successes of 2019.

Major construction of single-family homes, new businesses and expanding companies made 2019 an exciting year in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. The range of new projects announced during the year showed the strength and diversity of our regional economy, as schools grew, companies expanded and new businesses opened in our region. For over 30 years, the partnership of economic development associations in both counties has been the link that binds our unique communities for effective growth and prosperity.

The rapid growth of the communities surrounding Sioux Falls has always been a key factor in the success of the Sioux Falls metro area. Business expansion and relocation, along with single-family and multifamily housing starts in Lincoln and Minnehaha counties, have driven a steady surge in the regional economy. Population growth, following expanded job opportunities in the area, has shown significant increases year after year, establishing our metro-area communities as among the fastest growing in the nation. We expect 2020 to continue that pattern of consistent growth in business development and workforce opportunity.

Business is booming because more and more people choose to live in the communities of Lincoln and Minnehaha counties. New residents are the leading edge of a growing South Dakota talent pool, drawn to our area by the jobs created in Sioux Falls and in the communities joined together by the Lincoln County and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations.

Equally important with the recruitment of new companies to fill growing industrial parks in the member communities of LCEDA and MCEDA is the expansion of home-grown businesses. From Dell Rapids to Lennox, local companies in retail, manufacturing and services have been quietly adding new facilities and creating jobs on an annual basis. That increasing prosperity drives the construction of new houses and encourages additional business enterprises, from chiropractors, dentists and doctors to restaurants and hotels.

Whether it is occurring a block away or 30 miles from where we live, that growth boosts the economy of the entire region. It is said that “the rising tide lifts all boats,” and that axiom is the essence of regional development. Each of our partner communities is unique, and our regional partnership is rooted in collaboration. The idea exchange with other communities enables us to engage in learning experiences and leverage resources that benefit everyone. When we push each other to be better, the competitive profile of the entire region is elevated.

Regional economic development requires regional partnerships in marketing our area communities and showing prospective new and expanding companies the wide range of locations and sites available in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. Working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, MCEDA, LCEDA and our partner communities are active participants in hostings conducted in this part of our state — and are frequently able to present the unique advantages of locating or expanding in one of our member communities.

Regional development success hinges on our sharing business advantages and opportunities throughout our metro area and in the communities of LCEDA and MCEDA. We’re excited to get a new executive director on board and ready to meet the challenges of a new decade.

Regional economic development associations prepare for new leadership

The organizations that help lead economic development in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties will have a new leader themselves this year.

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