- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A new Rapid City economic development partnership has unveiled a five-year plan to create nearly 5,000 jobs and attract $300 million in business investment to the city.

The Elevate Rapid City public-private partnership announced Tuesday it has raised about $3 million of its $4.25 million goal to fund the initiative, the Rapid City Journal reported . The partnership brings together local economic development groups that previously worked independently, including the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership.

“The whole goal of this campaign is really to stimulate economic growth in the Rapid City area,” said Stuart Wevik, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of utility operations.

Creating about 4,755 jobs over five years should bring in more than $125 million in additional consumer spending, he said.

Nearly half of those jobs would have an average wage of $29.13 per hour, according to the partnership’s estimates. The remaining jobs would have an average wage of $17.79 per hour.

“We want to attract good paying jobs and good paying businesses to Rapid City,” Wevik said.

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, the Sanford Underground Research Facility and the Ellsworth Air Force base are assets that need to be leveraged to appeal to more businesses, he said.

“We really are going to measure what this campaign does so we can look back in five years with tangible metrics and say, ‘We created this many jobs, we brought this many businesses in, we trained this many people, we built this many buildings,’” said Republican Rep. David Lust of Rapid City.

He hopes data and analysis will spark another five-year campaign to follow. He said the current initiative “will really be about measuring and quantifying this effort.”


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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