This is a paid piece from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
Simplified: The Sioux Falls Development Foundation at its annual meeting last week reflected on the progress it's made this year in setting up the city for growth, as well as the momentum it's carrying into 2024.
Why it matters
- The Foundation has been focused on bringing businesses to Sioux Falls since the 1950s, and its mission now encompasses all sides of economic development – from making it easy for businesses to build in town to growing the available workforce.
- One of the biggest wins the organization saw this year was getting Foundation Park fully developed, with all roads, water and storm sewer completed so it is build ready, President and CEO Bob Mundt said.
- The year wasn't without its challenges, Mundt added. Inflation and rising interest rates are making it harder for businesses to get the financing they need. Plus, there's the perennial challenge of finding enough workers to fill the jobs created.
"We are looking at, not necessarily just growing, but how we grow so that we grow in a very coordinated, well-planned, well-thought out way," Mundt said. "We don't want to be growing just to be growing, but growing the community so that it can be sustainable."
Tell me more about the work that's happened in 2023
On the workforce side, the Foundation helped 300 high school and college students connect with internships with 23 different companies.
- Additionally, the Foundation's WORK Sioux Falls recruitment digital marketing campaign was seen more than 4 million times online, according to Director of Marketing and Digital Media Leah Friese.
On the development side, the Foundation is looking forward to new businesses opening soon in Foundation Park, including Muth Electric and Scherer Inc.
"We see companies continue to invest and grow, and I think that's a good sign," Mundt said.
What should we watch in 2024?
Foundation Park will see more construction, including work on a new FedEx freight facility, and a new 350,000-square-foot warehouse facility for a partnership between Avera Health and Owens & Minor.
- The new National Guard Readiness Center is also expected to open in 2024 in Sioux Empire Development Park 8.
More big projects breaking ground in 2024 include the Dakota State University Applied Research Lab and construction on a new research facility at the USD Discovery District.
- The Foundation is also involved in the work to remodel the old Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship into a Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center for Southeast Technical College – which is expected to open early next year.
"We know there’s going to be a couple more announcements in 2024 on companies looking to locate here in Sioux Falls," Mundt said. "We're going to continue to push hard on our workforce development efforts and look at some new ideas and new ways to generate interest in Sioux Falls."