OCT. 5, 2017 - VOL. 54 No. 1

Chair's Column
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Chair´s Column

Message from the Chair

By Steve Van Buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

Steve Van Buskirk
Steve Van Buskirk
2017-18 Chair of the Board

It has been 25 years since I began my professional career in Sioux Falls. In that time, I have witnessed how the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has assisted business growth by promoting community growth. The growth of our community has led to an expanding population, with new markets and new opportunities for our businesses owners. I encourage you to pause and reflect on our community's success and the Chamber's role in our community. When you do, I believe that you will be assured that your membership investment has been returned many times over.

Having spent my entire life in Sioux Falls, it is clear to me that the Chamber's leadership has had a positive effect on the population growth of our community. Consider the impact of the Chamber's Community Appeals campaigns. Our organization has helped raise more than $60 million to support quality of life projects throughout the community. Those efforts have helped transform the quiet home town of my youth into a bustling city with first class amenities that attract people from all over the country. This is workforce 101, improve the quality of life to create a place where people want to live and your community and economic opportunities will grow.

The Chamber's leadership also created Forward Sioux Falls, a dynamic funding effort that has raised over $52 million in 30 years to fund education, quality of life and economic development efforts. In preparation for the programing phase of Forward Sioux Falls 2021, your leadership participated in a broad community assessment that included our workforce development efforts. That assessment emphasized the need for a realignment of our education system with the job market, long-term engagement of our students to prepare them for the work and identification of key elements that are needed for our continued growth as a regionally attractive community. Since that study, efforts have begun and progress has been made on those critical areas by your volunteer leadership and professional staff.

Looking to the future, your leadership team remains dedicated to its membership and its community, with every intention of building on our great foundation. As Chair of the Board for the Chamber, I am committed to helping maintain our traditions and seek new opportunities for economic and workforce growth.

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