NOV. 6, 2015 - VOL. 51 No. 2

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Forward Sioux Falls 2021

By Amy Smolik
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Tackling short-term and long-term workforce challenges, developing the state´s first mega-site development park and growing the region´s knowledge community are some of the newest initiatives in the seventh Forward Sioux Falls program. Community leaders hope to raise $15.5 million for the Forward Sioux Falls 2021 program. The campaign started Nov. 1.

Forward Sioux Falls is the proven and successful economic development partnership between the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Since its inception in 1987, FSF has proven to be an effective stimulus for increasing business investment and diversification of the entire Sioux Falls area. Forward Sioux Falls programs are managed by the staff members of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Sioux Falls Development Foundation and led by a Joint Venture Management Committee made up of members serving on the Executive Committees of the Chamber and Development Foundation and at-large members.

In nearly 30 years, more than $37 million has been raised in six campaigns to enhance economic development efforts in the Sioux Falls area. This new campaign builds on the successes from past FSF programs and introduces new efforts to help grow and diversify the Sioux Falls area economy.


Mayor Mike Huether, Dave Rozenboom, First PREMIER Bank, and Mark Shlanta, SDN Communications, are chairing the 2021 campaign with an additional 27 volunteers serving in key leadership positions. Through the end of March 2016, the campaign chairs, cabinet members and other division leaders are meeting with area businesses about investing in the seventh program.

National Community Development Services, Inc. (NCDS) worked with the Chamber and Development Foundation in proposing the new five-year program. NCDS has assisted with fundraising for each of the previous Forward Sioux Falls campaigns. Earlier this summer, NCDS led a feasibility study to determine if investors felt another program was necessary. Those interviewed clearly felt Forward Sioux Falls was the catalyst needed to push Sioux Falls forward and that addressing workforce should be the No. 1 priority.

Workforce attraction, retention and development is a major part of the 2021 program. However, because community leaders could see that workforce was a challenge, funds were redirected in the last 18-24 months to start addressing the issue. In January 2015, Forward Sioux Falls engaged national economic and workforce development consulting firm Market Street Services to conduct a workforce analysis. The Workforce Action Agenda was shared in the fall of 2015. The action steps that came out of the research have been integrated into the 2021 plan. Forward Sioux Falls will be a key player in implementing the workforce plan, which includes both short-term and long-term steps. A number of other community organizations will also need to participate in order to make an impact, however. A complete list of the research can be found at

Forward Sioux Falls is the successful joint venture economic development partnership between the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Workforce is not the only component of the 2021 program. Foundation Park is a transformational investment made by the Sioux Falls area that will pay dividends for decades. Earlier this summer, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation announced the formation of the state´s first mega industrial park. Its key location at the site of two interstates and rail is attractive to area businesses as well as a recruiting tool for new businesses.

The development of the USD Discovery District is another key program component. Located on the campus of University Center, the Discover District will bring together research, education and business and provide more entrepreneurial support. Developing the district furthers the work in growing businesses that started more than 10 years ago with the creation of the South Dakota Technology Business Center, another Forward Sioux Falls success.

While specific components of the Forward Sioux Falls programs have changed over the years, investors continue to favor program initiatives that are aggressive in attracting new business, increasing job growth and enhancing the overall quality of life. Additional initiatives in the 2021 program address those areas, from business advocacy to quality of place enhancement to affordable housing to air service.

The Sioux Falls area has changed tremendously since the first Forward Sioux Falls program – more jobs, expanding superior medical facilities, dozens of education opportunities and better shopping and cultural activities. In the current program, Forward Sioux Falls 2011-2016, research from NCDS showed that nearly 8,500 jobs have been created: 3,977 direct new jobs, which led to 4,400 additional indirect and induced jobs. A total of 10,000 jobs are expected to have been created by the end of the 2011-2016 program, which concludes March 2016. As of 2015, five years of steady job growth returned $10.87 to the community in average corporate profits for every $1 invested in economic development, which will continue. NCDS also found that there was $1.6 billion in new annual output (local GDP), $464 million in new annual payroll income and $378 million in new annual consumer expenditures.

Forward Sioux Falls can´t take all of the credit for the region´s successes. However, the program has been instrumental in bringing the right people together and creating the right environment to allow for growth and progress.

New leaders have been tapped to participate in the 2021 campaign. In addition, leaders are focusing on incorporating even more regional investors to give funds as well as share their employees. The financial investment is critical, but having people to help implement the work is also critical. A number of workgroups are being developed to oversee the workforce development efforts. Goals and measurable outcomes will be developed to ensure everyone is held accountable.

An update on the campaign will be shared at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation at their Nov. 19 Annual Meeting; see details about this event on page 34.

For more information about Forward Sioux Falls, contact Forward Sioux Falls Director of Investor Relations Carolyn Winchell at (605) 373-2008 or, or go to


Miles Beacom
PREMIER Bankcard

Paul Bruflat
CNA Surety
2015-16 Sioux Falls Area Chamber
of Commerce Chair of the Board

Cathy Clark
Wells Fargo Bank

Stephanie Gongopoulos
The First National Bank in Sioux Falls

Paul Hanson
Sanford Health

Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Raven Industries

Dave Kapaska, D.O.
Avera McKennan Hospital
& University Health Center

Ruth Krystopolski
Sioux Falls Regional Airport Authority

Scott Lawrence
Lawrence & Schiller
2015 Sioux Falls Development Foundation Chair of the Board

W. Tom Simmons
Midcontinent Communications

Ken Stork

Steve Van Buskirk
Van Buskirk Companies

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Workforce Attraction, Retention & Development

Foundation Park

USD Discovery District

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Business Recruitment, Retention & Expansion

Business Advocacy & Quality of Place Enhancement

Air Service & International Trade


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2015 Officers

Chair Mark Shlanta,
SDN Communications

Vice Chair Scott Lawrence,
Lawrence & Schiller

Secretary Dana Dykhouse,
First PREMIER Bank

Treasurer Dale Froehlich,
Prairie Winds Capital, LLC

2015 Members

Paul Bruflat,
CNA Surety

John Henkhaus,
The Everist Company

Dave Kapaska, D.O.,
Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

Dr. Charles "Pat" O´Brien,
Sanford International Clinics

Dave Rozenboom,
First PREMIER Bank

W. Tom Simmons,
Midcontinent Communications

Jim Soukup,
Soukup Construction

Steve Van Buskirk,
Van Buskirk Companies

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