Past Programs

Since 1987, Forward Sioux Falls has played a behind the scenes role in creating a vision for Sioux Falls, attracted top businesses to the area, created more jobs, made Sioux Falls a safer, better place to live and so much more. The community leaders in the first iteration of FSF set high goals and developed the original vision to put our community on the map, and through our private-public system, we’ve done that. This page has details about all of our past programs.

“I believe the Forward Sioux Falls program has defined the ‘modern era’ of Sioux Falls since it began in 1987. The community leaders of that day developed a vision and an economic development platform that has changed the trajectory of our community and the Sioux Empire region forever. Together, we’ve achieved new heights well beyond what anyone could have envisioned because community leaders ever since continue to carry the torch. Community leaders in Sioux Falls long ago recognized that economic development is a team sport. Forward Sioux Falls continues to bring our community together around a common set of priorities and the pooling of our time, talent and treasure to maximize opportunities and address challenges has truly set Sioux Falls apart. It’s now up to us to carry on.”

Dave Rozenboom
President, First PREMIER Bank & Co-Chair of Forward Sioux Falls

Past FSF Programs

Campaign Chair: Lyle Schroeder
Campaign Goal: $1.4 million
Amount Raised: $1.8 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • Created 6,200 jobs in the area.
  • Saw an increase of nearly $100 million in the area´s payroll
  • Realized more than $250 million in new capital investment.
  • Sent 5,000 targeted industry reports to corporate decision-makers in five business categories
  • Produced hundreds of business leads through an aggressive direct mail and advertising program to reposition Sioux Falls in the eyes of business leaders across the country.
  • Made personal calls on 115 new business prospects and hosted 235 prospects in Sioux Falls
  • Received favorable coverage of Sioux Falls´ business climate in major U.S. daily newspapers and in 19 trade publications.
  • Opened the Sioux Falls Briefing Center, which served as a modern center for presenting Sioux Falls´ best face, in 1992

Campaign Chair: John Mulligan
Campaign Goal: $2 million
Amount Raised: $2.18 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • Money magazine rated the Sioux Falls economy No. 1 in the nation in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Sioux Falls was named the ” Best Place to Live in America” in 1992.
  • FSF was significantly involved in the development and realization of the new Sioux Falls Convention Center and Washington Pavilion projects.
  • New marketing materials were developed for the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote and market the city of Sioux Falls as a regional destination city for conventions and meetings, special events and other visitor business.
  • The Chamber´s Public Affairs program and staff were expanded to provide continuous monitoring of local governmental issues and a strong and effective lobbying presence for the Sioux Falls area business community during the legislative session held each year in Pierre.
  • FSF II co-sponsored the Business Industry and Government (BIG) Job Fairs as well as other job fairs designed to attract skilled and semi-skilled employees. Business-Education partnership programs were expanded and FSF conducted and co-sponsored three high school job fairs attracting 40 businesses and 500 students.
  • FSF II initiated and funded the Sioux Falls Tomorrow community-based planning process, which was completed in 1994 and developed a vision and goals for Sioux Falls in 2015.
  • Sioux Falls had an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent in 1992. Sioux Falls Tomorrow developed a vision and goals for Sioux Falls through 2015.
  • Conducted research and provided information regarding the adverse impacts of Dakota 1, a property tax limitation measure that would have affected the economy and educational system; was narrowly defeated in the November 1994 general election.

Campaign Chair: Gary Olson
Campaign Goal: $3 million
Amount Raised: $4.2 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • In 1997, the FSF Workforce Development Council was appointed. A director of the program was hired in 1998. Several projects and programs were created during FSF III to promote workforce, including the Opportunitysf.com website. It serves as a link to job opportunities as well as general information about Sioux Falls to interested people
  • In 1999-2000, Avera McKennan Hospital, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and a coalition of suppliers and homebuilders created the Lacey Park neighborhood. It began when 20 homes were moved from the blocks contiguous to Avera McKennan Hospital to what is now the Lacey Park Development. This is part of the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership, which promotes increasing the supply of housing for moderate income buyers. The SEHP, consisting of representatives from business, local government and community groups, accomplishes its mission through research, public education and advocacy efforts aimed at building public support for housing production.
  • The Employer Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) was developed to create affordable housing opportunities in the Sioux Falls area to help ensure a growing workforce. Co-sponsored by the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership and the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, EMAP seeks to help businesses give their employees a significant benefit and an employee who is a first-time homebuyer funds to aid in the purchase of their home. Employees are enrolled in classes to explain the programs benefits and responsibilities.
  • In 2000, Forward Sioux Falls launched the portal website www.siouxfalls.com. This site serves as the home for the sites of the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sioux Falls Development Foundation and the free community events calendar site, www.siouxfallsevents.com.
  • In 2000, Forward Sioux Falls launched www.siouxfalls.com, which served as a portal to www.siouxfallschamber.com, www.siouxfallscvb.com, www.siouxfallsdevelopment.com and www.siouxfallsevents.com
  • According to 2000 U.S. Census figures: Minnehaha County experienced a 19.8 percent growth rate from 1990 to 2000.
  • Lincoln County experienced a 56.4 percent growth rate from 1990 to 2000.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lincoln County was the fastest growing county in the country for percentage change in housing units from 2000-2003.

Campaign Chair: Tom Everist
Campaign Goal: $5.5 million
Amount Raised: $6.4 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • The Sioux Empire Housing Partnership built-up a 16-housing development at the Lacey Park addition. The homes at Lacey Park are sold to buyers whose income is at or below the median income range.
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies were held May 12, 2003 for the 38,000 square foot South Dakota Technology Business Center that will assist new, and early-stage technology businesses develop and grow in Sioux Falls.
  • In January 2004, the South Dakota Technology Business Center (SDTBC) opened for business. The SDTBC is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to diversify and expand the regional economy by providing “best practices” incubator services and networking opportunities to qualified new and early-stage technology-based companies. The Technology Business Center building is a 38,000 sq. ft. facility offering office, lab and light manufacturing space for lease. Tenants are encouraged to “graduate” from the facility in three years.
  • The Interns in Industry program was formed to create links between area businesses and students currently studying in Sioux Falls area colleges and technical institutes. The goals of the program are to increase the number of internships offered in Sioux Falls; increase the visibility of the Sioux Falls area business community on campuses throughout the region; encourage more students to make their futures in Sioux Falls; and grow the area´s skilled workforce.
  • South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds recognized Sioux Falls as the 2006 Large Community of the Year. Rounds acknowledged Sioux Falls´ successful year in economic development.
  • The City of Sioux Falls issued 6,902 building permits in 2004, with a value of $409 million.
  • By the end of the first quarter of 2001, the unemployment rate in Sioux Falls was 1.7 percent, compared to 2.2 percent statewide and 4.3 percent nationwide.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lincoln County was the fastest growing county in the country for percentage change in housing units from 2000-2003.
  • A 2001 study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, found that Minnehaha County was the fastest-changing metro area in the nation, based on the population´s 125 percent increase of foreign-born people from 1990-1998.
  • By the end of the first quarter of 2001, the unemployment rate in Sioux Falls was 1.7 percent, compared to 2.2 percent statewide and 4.3 percent nationwide.

Campaign Chairs: Dana Dykhouse & Kelby Krabbenhoft
Campaign Goal: $8.5 million
Amount Raised: $10.5 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • The Sioux Empire Housing Partnership built-up a 16-housing development at the Lacey Park addition. The homes at Lacey Park are sold to buyers whose income is at or below the median income range.
  • Groundbreaking ceremonies were held May 12, 2003 for the 38,000 square foot South Dakota Technology Business Center that will assist new, and early-stage technology businesses develop and grow in Sioux Falls.
  • In January 2004, the South Dakota Technology Business Center (SDTBC) opened for business. The SDTBC is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to diversify and expand the regional economy by providing “best practices” incubator services and networking opportunities to qualified new and early-stage technology-based companies. The Technology Business Center building is a 38,000 sq. ft. facility offering office, lab and light manufacturing space for lease. Tenants are encouraged to “graduate” from the facility in three years.
  • The Interns in Industry program was formed to create links between area businesses and students currently studying in Sioux Falls area colleges and technical institutes. The goals of the program are to increase the number of internships offered in Sioux Falls; increase the visibility of the Sioux Falls area business community on campuses throughout the region; encourage more students to make their futures in Sioux Falls; and grow the area´s skilled workforce.
  • South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds recognized Sioux Falls as the 2006 Large Community of the Year. Rounds acknowledged Sioux Falls´ successful year in economic development.
  • The City of Sioux Falls issued 6,902 building permits in 2004, with a value of $409 million.
  • By the end of the first quarter of 2001, the unemployment rate in Sioux Falls was 1.7 percent, compared to 2.2 percent statewide and 4.3 percent nationwide.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lincoln County was the fastest growing county in the country for percentage change in housing units from 2000-2003.
  • A 2001 study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research group, found that Minnehaha County was the fastest-changing metro area in the nation, based on the population´s 125 percent increase of foreign-born people from 1990-1998.
  • By the end of the first quarter of 2001, the unemployment rate in Sioux Falls was 1.7 percent, compared to 2.2 percent statewide and 4.3 percent nationwide.

Campaign Chairs: Dana Dykhouse & Mark Shlanta
Campaign Goal: $11.2 million
Amount Raised: $12.2 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • The program continued partnering with the Sioux Falls Airport Authority to market the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, helping it add flights and new destinations.
  • Global marketing and public relations efforts continued, with Sioux Falls earning 1.49 billion impressions in such nationwide outlets as NPR, USA TodayForbesBusiness Week, CNN, CNBC, Industry Week, New Geography, S. News & World Report, the Chicago Tribune, and Marketplace.
  • Augmented business development, as Sioux Falls representatives attended 14 national trade shows, participated in 182 conference calls, reached out to 4,324 companies, and held 82 face-to-face meetings. Twenty site selectors visited Sioux Falls, and representatives also spread the city’s message at five site selector lunches held in other US cities.
  • Maximized the economic impact of high-growth businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators in Sioux Falls through expansion of the South Dakota Technology Business Center, which was rebranded in 2016 as the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • Leveraged and expanded existing resources to create a skilled workforce pipeline for the area’s diverse business sectors and to optimize the resources from Sioux Falls’ public and private school systems to two- and four-year degree programs and beyond.
  • Through the SDTBC (now Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship), Forward Sioux Falls invested $200,000 in South Dakota Innovation Partners, providing early-stage capital to such start-ups as Medgene Labs, Tranzderm Solutions, and Prairie Aquatech. The center also supported angel investor educational events and the Enterprise Institute’s efforts to create new angel funds throughout South Dakota.
  • Enlisted Market Street Services to conduct a workforce analysis which was comprised of interviews, surveys and focus groups. An evaluation of Sioux Falls’ talent requirements, market changes and comparative analysis to other communities; these efforts ultimately resulted in the formation of the Strategic Workforce Action Agenda, which would be implemented in Forward Sioux Falls VII.

Campaign Chairs: Dave Rozenboom, Mark Shlanta & Mayor Mike Huether
Campaign Goal: $15.5 million
Amount Raised: $15.5 million

 


 

Accomplishments:

  • Completed infrastructure and recruited four organizations to the 820-acre Foundation Park, the state’s first mega site that offers the high-capacity utility and communication infrastructure, is BNSF certified and is located at the crossroads of Interstates 29 and 90.
  • Began implementation of the Strategic Workforce Action Agenda, which focuses on talent development, attraction and retention.
  • Provided funding to help launch the USD Discovery District, an innovation community bringing together research, education and business to capitalize on the region’s growing medical and biotech sectors.
  • Developed SiouxFalls.com, a site designed to attract individuals as well as businesses to our community, providing them with resources to affirm our area’s appeal to live, work and play.
  • Facilitated marketing deliverables to promote the Sioux Falls Regional Airport as a significant amenity for both business and recreational opportunities.
  • Initiated D.C. fly-ins, resulting in better public policy communication and coordination with the federal branch of government.

Campaign Chairs: Dana Dykhouse
Campaign Goal: $1.4 million
Amount Raised: $1.8 million

 


 

About:

As part of a comprehensive effort to continue to expand the Sioux Falls area´s competitiveness and livability for businesses and individuals, Forward Sioux Falls, City of Sioux Falls, Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and the Sioux Empire United Way underwent a strategic economic development planning process to enhance economic development activities and programs in the Sioux Falls area for the next 20 years and beyond.

Market Street Services, a national economic and workforce development consulting firm, facilitated the process of developing a new economic strategy for the Sioux Falls area. At the end of this months-long effort, the Sioux Falls area had an achievable roadmap to guide short- and long-term growth. The Forward Sioux Falls 2011-2016 program was developed in part using the economic development strategies that were most appropriate for the business community to tackle and fit in with existing Forward Sioux Falls programs and initiatives.

CONTACT FORWARD SIOUX FALLS

MIKE LYNCH

Director of investor relations, Forward Sioux Falls