President’s Report: Land, Workforce, Housing and Redevelopment
- August 10, 2021
These were among the topics discussed at the Development Foundation’s Annual Board Retreat in May as the Board began to strategically plan for the next five years of the Forward Sioux Falls program and future activities of the Foundation.
Land – As the Foundation continues to sell property in Foundation Park and Park VIII creating new jobs and tax base, leadership has begun to research and explore property that may serve as the next industrial park well into the future. Finding land with assets similar to Foundation Park will be a challenge and will take the cooperation and support of the City, the State, and the private sector. The recent passage of the Tax Increment Finance District for Foundation Park North and the ability to develop infrastructure will serve as a catalyst to complete the Park and attract industries to the region. We will look toward regional solutions as well and work to include neighboring communities in this effort.
Workforce – We hear it loud and clear. We need more workers. We need to continue building our workforce from within and recruit talent, filling the talent pipeline with more qualified people. We will continue to grow programs; strengthening our ties to universities, colleges, tech schools and community colleges to attract new talent to the region. We will work with our local school districts to engage middle school and high school students in career education, apprenticeships, and internships to keep our talent here. We will continue to recruit production workers from across the region promoting the excellent quality of life available in the metro area and the quality of jobs available here.
Housing – As we recruit companies and workforce to the region, it is imperative that we also partner with the City, the State and other housing advocates to provide more housing options and affordable solutions. Supporting state programs and legislative incentives to meet the housing challenges and playing an active role in implementing those solutions should be a part of our efforts.
Redevelopment – As Sioux Falls continues to expand, the City is looking for ways to utilize existing infrastructure and redevelop targeted areas of Sioux Falls with alternative housing choices, upgraded commercial opportunities and less expensive alternatives to development. Targeted areas of the community can be redeveloped to expand the tax base, provide affordable housing options, and improve access to City services and quality of life amenities. We believe the Development Foundation can play a role in these efforts and will work with City officials to implement a plan.
As we continue to aggressively implement our plan of action for 2021, we will begin to expand our role and work with multiple partners to assist with these challenges moving forward. We appreciate the continued support of our members, our investors and our elected officials and will continue to meet the challenges of growth with the collaboration needed to succeed.