• July/August 2018

Message from the Chair

By Steve van buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

Your chamber of commerce is a powerful voice for business in our community and region. But we don’t work alone! We work with city and county government, with the local school districts, with partner agencies and with you – our 2,200 member businesses. All of our efforts are toward a common goal – to promote business and economic growth in a way that also improves quality of life in our community.

The quality of life piece is important. And our K-12 education system is part of our quality of life. When people from outside our area are being recruited to move here for work, the quality of our schools is a factor they consider. Likewise, businesses considering setting up operations here want to be confident that the schools and quality of life will be strong enough to help them attract and retain a workforce.

The work being done today will pay dividends in the years ahead.

The value of a strong education system is reflected in our Forward Sioux Falls programming. Collaboration is happening with Southeast Tech and University Center at the post-secondary level, and with Sioux Falls Thrive at the K-12 level as part of the FSF workforce development initiative.

Forward Sioux Falls is a great example of this community’s success in collaboration. This joint venture between the Chamber and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has brought together public and private sectors to enhance economic development efforts. We are now about halfway through our 2021 campaign, and it seems like an appropriate time to pause and assess our progress on the program. I encourage you read about that in our story in this issue of Chamber News. The work being done today will pay dividends in the years ahead.

Speaking of the future... we are looking for our future leaders! Applications are now being accepted for the next class of Leadership Sioux Falls. In this, our signature program, participants learn to be effective leaders and the value of giving back to the community. The hope is that when they graduate, they will choose to use the knowledge and insight they’ve gained to invest in continuing to grow and improve Sioux Falls. Applications for the 33rd class are due Aug. 14, so please be sure to meet the deadline if you are interested in participating in this top-notch development opportunity.


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