Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Might be waking up to some snow and slippery-ness

Love check: Did you catch our Sioux Falls-themed valentines on Instagram? (oh, are you not following us? Get on board!)

This weekend, it's all about new stuff in town (I suppose there's a reason they call it the "news"...) You'll learn about a new Chamber of Commerce focused on connecting and supporting Black business owners, and I caught up with folks over at Sanford about a new short-term apprenticeship program. Plus, find lots of Super Simplified Stories.

And now, news:


Get to know the South Dakota Black Chamber of Commerce

Simplified: The South Dakota Black Chamber of Commerce (SDBCC) launched earlier this month with the goal of empowering Black business owners and being a conduit for connection to available resources and opportunities.

Why it matters

  • There are an estimated 3,000 registered Black-owned businesses across the state of South Dakota, but the folks at SDBCC think there are likely more, said Sidney Bazemore, director of communications and liaison for the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
  • The new chamber is basing its work in Sioux Falls, and the goal is to quickly expand across the state. SDBCC is also hoping to increase collaboration with existing chambers, including the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the South Dakota Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
  • Bazemore notes that it's important to have an organization dedicated to supporting Black business owners because the existing chambers don't represent all of the businesses in Sioux Falls and across the state. SDBCC provides another point of connection for business owners by meeting them where they are – something especially important as the city and state continue to grow and diversify.
"South Dakota is very wholesome, very welcoming, but very, very – I would say – tight-knit," Bazemore said. "And in order to understand that, it's good to have organizations like South Dakota Black Chamber of Commerce to be here as a conduit for people coming into the community."

Tell me more about the chamber


This new apprenticeship will let you test out a healthcare career

Simplified: A new pilot program at Sanford is giving people in Sioux Falls the opportunity to test out different jobs in healthcare in a first-of-its-kind four-week apprenticeship. Here's what you need to know about the Genesis Program.

Six adults standing in a line, smiling as if for a headshot.

Why it matters

  • Unemployment rates are very low in Sioux Falls – about 1.5% as of January – which means filling open jobs is increasingly difficult for employers. And in the healthcare field, a lot of jobs that support the work of doctors and nurses are hurting, Sanford Talent Acquisition Analyst Miranda Pfund.
  • But, Pfund also knows that many people who are currently employed are thinking about a career switch. The Genesis Program gives them an entry point to test out different healthcare jobs and really get a sense of what's a good fit.
  • The Genesis Program is particularly unique because of its duration. Most career apprenticeships run for a year (or several), but the Genesis Program is only four weeks long in an effort to quickly give people a chance to really get a sense of what a new career could look like – all while learning hands-on and getting paid.
"This program provides more than just, 'Am I going to be capable of counting pills in the pharmacy?'" said Caitlin Eigenberg, talent acquisition program administrator. "It's also, 'Is a career in healthcare for me?'"

Tell me more about the apprenticeship program


Super Simplified Stories

  • Benson Road bridge closing for construction. Starting Monday, Benson Road will be closed from Minnesota Avenue to Fourth Avenue for a complete deck replacement of the bridge. It's about a $4.3 million project, all told – $1.9 million of which is coming from the state. The bridge is expected to be closed until November, with final construction expected to be done by May 2025. Find all your city construction updates here.
  • City cracks down on street racing. Police this week said eight men were arrested in connection with a large, organized street racing event from back in October. At the time, around 50 cars were seen parked in the area of North Sycamore Avenue and Benson Road. Keloland has the full story here.
  • Hear from the youth. Thirteen Sioux Falls School District students will present at the second annual TEDx Sioux Falls Youth event on March 23. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and available now.
  • The bunny is (almost) back. The Easter Bunny will be back at the mall starting March 1. You can already make reservations for a time to go get a photo taken, and there's also a sensory-friendly "Caring Bunny" event on March 17. Oh, and don't forget the furry friends. Bring your pets for bunny photos on Sunday, March 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Quality of Life forums are also back. The Community Revitalization Collective, a group focused on revitalizing the Whittier neighborhood, is hosting two more Quality of Life forums in the coming weeks. There's one Feb. 24 focused on "safety" and another on March 23 focused on "health." Both family-friendly events will start at 10 a.m. at Wesley United Church, and a meal is included.


More Simplified Stories

Stuff to do: Feb. 14-20
Here’s a look at what’s happening this week.
See the latest plans for new pools
Right now, the plan is an indoor pool/rec center at Frank Olson, outdoor pool at Kuehn.
Why City Council is working to be more visible in the community
Sioux Falls City Council members are working to be more visible in the community as a way to bolster the city’s legislative branch and keep the community informed on its work.


What I'm falling for this weekend


How to support Sioux Falls Simplified

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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or any coconut chocolates you didn't eat in your valentine box to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including Dakota Adventure Supply, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Panther Premier Print Solutions, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, and the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.