Forward Sioux Falls, a joint venture between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, is nearing the end of the public fundraising portion of our capital campaign that will provide funding for the next five-year economic development program.
The Forward Sioux Falls 2026 Campaign, which has a $15 million cash goal, is led by co-chairs Dave Rozenboom (President, First PREMIER Bank), Dave Flicek (Regional President and CEO, Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center) and Paul Hanson (Sioux Falls Region President, Sanford Health). Mayor Paul TenHaken is serving as honorary campaign co-chair. The campaign cabinet comprises over 40 business and community leaders.
Before any funds are raised, there is an extensive evaluation process of existing programs, as well as creation and consideration of new programs and goals to be added. During ideation and design of the Forward Sioux Falls 2026 program, there was sound justification to continue to expand talent development, attraction and retention initiatives which evolved from the 2015 Strategic Workforce Action Agenda.
SiouxFalls.com, Talent Draft Day, WIN in Workforce Summit, WIN engagement platform, and Your Future STEM are some examples of workforce initiatives that will continue to be funded, along with our ongoing business attraction, retention, and expansion efforts. In addition, there will be continued support for the Young Professionals Network, Sioux Falls Thrive, STARTUP Sioux Falls, advocacy, air service, Foundation Park, and the USD Discovery District.
New initiatives have also been built into the 2026 program and include the following:
Affordable Housing: Providing resources to support the collaborative efforts of the City of Sioux Falls, Sioux Empire Housing Partnership (SEHP), US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and others to address workforce accessible housing needs.
Career Connections: Partnering with local businesses from a variety of industry sectors, Career Connections will provide high-potential at-risk high school juniors and seniors with a career exploration and mentorship opportunity and financial assistance for concurrent dual-credit course work to help them begin their post-secondary education and career journey.
REACH: Funding to expand this workplace literacy program.
Cyber/IT Park: Seed funding for a new vision to partner with Dakota State University, local tech companies and the City of Sioux Falls to create a Cyber/IT campus in Sioux Falls.
Innovation Center of Excellence: A proposed new Center within the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce where public and private sectors will partner and collaborate to deliver innovative programming focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. The Center will also support Next Level Leadership Academy, New Ideas, Think Tank and others.
“Future Sioux Falls” strategic plan: Provides funding for our next community-wide long-range vision and strategic planning process.
A primary Forward Sioux Falls objective during the formative years of the program was to elevate our community from a regional hub to one that is now nationally recognized for an ability to attract businesses, as well as people to fill jobs and raise families.
Key outcomes since 1987 include a 236 percent job growth (91,000 net new jobs) and a 214 percent increase in the Sioux Falls MSA population (142,200 net new residents). Sioux Falls has also received prominent national accolades, including the #1 city in the United States for young professionals and the #1 best small place for business and careers (12 of the past 20 years).
Projected outcomes and goals for Forward Sioux Falls 2026 include:
• 4,500 new direct jobs at above median wage
• $500 million in new capital investments
• $250 million in new property tax revenues
• 300 existing companies assisted
• 1,000 new housing units from the Housing Fund
• 25,000 new residents
• 1,000 apprenticeships/internships/job shadows
• 30,000 direct workforce contacts
• 250,000 electronic workforce exposures
In 1987, the blueprint for future economic growth and diversification in Sioux Falls was envisioned and our potential was unleashed. With each five-year program, investors have relied on Forward Sioux Falls’ initiatives to expand and elevate the region’s economy and it has exceeded all expectations.
We thank all organizations and individuals who have invested in Forward Sioux Falls 2026 and encourage those yet to do so, to give strong consideration to join the effort. Please reach out to Mike Lynch, Director of Investor Relations with questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.forwardsiouxfalls.com for more information.