Coming Together To Meet Our Challenges
By late 2015, these and other challenges prompted leaders associated with the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Ellsworth Development Authority and the Economic Development Foundation, among others, to rethink the fundamental manner in which our diverse region practices economic development. With the professional assistance of Convergent Nonprofit Solutions (CNS), confidential interviews with more than 100 business and community leaders were conducted in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2017. The interviews confirm the aspirations and need to develop a robust strategy to grow the Rapid City economy. Among the findings:
- A joint partnership between the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Ellsworth Development Authority, Rapid City Economic Development Partnership and Economic Development Foundation is viewed very favorably. Local business and community leaders want to see aggressive strategies to maximize growth while minimizing duplication of effort. While the name implies a focus on Rapid City, all are in agreement that a stronger Rapid City makes for a stronger region.
- 90% of interviewees indicated they had benefited directly and indirectly from the efforts of these organizations independently. Working together makes them a formidable force for change.
- All interviewees believe the Rapid City region must remain competitive to ensure a vibrant future. And, as area research revealed, job competing regions such as Sioux Falls run multimillion dollar capital campaigns focused on new jobs, payroll, and capital investment. It is imperative that this joint venture compete at a commensurate level or risk losing momentum and economic gains to competitors.
Through Vision and Planning
Accordingly, members of Elevate Rapid City’s Management Committee worked diligently to develop a sustainable, multi-year economic development program that touches all critical elements of economic growth and prosperity over the next five years and beyond. The program commenced in July 2018 and concludes June 2023, with subsequent multi-year programs anticipated to occur thereafter. The program encompasses the shared visions of Rapid City, local pro-business implementing partners, hundreds of development supporters and dozens of potential strategy and tactical partners that will benefit from working cooperatively. The strategies and initiatives of the Elevate Rapid City program are presented here for your review, consideration and support.
A special thank-you to the dedicated community leaders listed below who volunteered countless hours to guide the formation of this exciting, new partnership and its program of work:
- Ron Blum – Montana Dakota Utilities
- Pat Burchill – US Bank
- Tony Demaro – Murphy’s Pub & Grill
- Shawn Gab – Tri-Tech Manufacturing
- Darren Haar – Black Hills Angel Fund
- Jim Haar – Golden West Technologies
- Jay Hammerquist – Black Hills Orthopedics
- Terri Haverly – Economic Development Foundation
- Tom Helland – Eagle Sales
- Scott Landguth – Ellsworth Development Authority
- David Lust – Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore
- Linda Rabe – Rapid City Chamber of Commerce
- Tom Weaver – First Interstate Bank
- Susan Weber – Regional Health
- Stuart Wevik – Black Hills Corporation
- Jim White – Sound Pro