New Contract Manufacturer to Expand into Spearfish

Alex Portal | Black Hills Pioneer | October 11, 2021

Through the efforts of the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Pacific Stainless Product, a contract manufacturer from St. Helens, Ore., will be expanding its business into Spearfish, and bringing more skilled labor jobs with it.

“Pacific Stainless Products is exactly the type of mid-sized, light industrial company we have been working to attract to the Spearfish Business Park,” said SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “In addition to creating quality jobs and expanding our local tax base, their manufacturing process is environmentally mindful as they produce very little waste, consume very little water, and use no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The company has also established a stellar reputation for their corporate citizenship.”


BHSU, SEDC Create Paid Internship Program

Alex Portal | Black Hills Pioneer | October 9, 2021

In an effort to bolster the local workforce and keep students graduating from Black Hills State University in the area, the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has partnered with the university to create the new Workforce Development Internship Program.

“SEDC’s primary role will be to identify Spearfish businesses that could benefit from this new partnership and to serve as a conduit to BHSU,” explained SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken.

“In standing up a Career Center, we plan to work much closer with area businesses to develop internship programs, career fairs and job placements. Starting with SEDC on this exciting partnership was a perfect way to launch this new initiative,” added BHSU President Dr. Laurie S. Nichols.

As BHSU brings the students to the table, SEDC will supply the business opportunities. The program will provide part-time, paid work experience to BHSU students in positions related to their course of study as well as provide local businesses with affordable help and a potential funnel of future employees.

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Menken Speaks at Regional Critical Issues Luncheon

SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken participated on a panel of five regional economic development leaders at last week’s Regional Economic Development 2021 Critical Issues Luncheon hosted by Elevate Rapid City. Menken and fellow panelists discussed the importance of regional economic development by addressing the critical issues we face today and into the future and shared with guests how increased partnerships are furthering the economic prosperity Spearfish andof the Black Hills region.

Spearfish School District Presents CTE Center Plans

Superintendent Kirk Easton and the Spearfish School District hosted a public forum on Wednesday, September 29 at Creekside Elementary to discuss the planned Career and Technical Education Center that will begin being constructed this upcoming Spring next to the Spearfish High School.

The new sixteen-million-dollar CTE center will have the potential to house more than thirty classes in sixteen different career clusters, including family and consumer sciences; medical sciences classrooms and labs; a STEM lab; an information technology classroom; a building trades shop where students can learn about construction, plumbing, electrical and HVAC; and classroom and shop space for woodworking, automotive, and welding. Additionally, the building will feature a presentation area that will hold at least one-hundred-fifty to two-hundred people, that can be used for everything from sports banquets to special lectures from experts in various fields.

The Spearfish School District CTE center will be an asset to students, local businesses, and the entire Spearfish community. Because of the significant positive impact the center will have on workforce development here in Spearfish, SEDC serves on the CTE Advisory Committee for the project.

SEDC Participates in New Economic Development Course

SEDC Marketing and Administration Coordinator Cayley Schmitt
receives certificate from BHSU President Dr. Laurie S. Nichols

SEDC recently participated in the inaugural “Fuel the Growth” Economic Development Training Certification Workshop hosted by Black Hills State University (BHSU), Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) at the BHSU-Rapid City Campus.

SEDC Marketing and Administration Coordinator Cayley Schmitt completed the three-day course and SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken taught the class on workforce development. The course was attended by dozens of economic development professionals from across South Dakota and surrounding states and included education on various topics such as economic development finance, business retention and expansionentrepreneurshipcommunity and real estate development, strategic planning, organizational management and ethics.

Fuel the Growth is one of several new strategic training programs being established by Black Hills State University to address workforce development needs for economic growth and prosperity in the Black Hills region.

Spearfish Hosts Statewide Craft Beer Festival

605 Magazine’s annual 605 Black Hills Classic Beer and Music Festival returned to Spearfish’s Lions Park on Saturday, September 11. The event featured beer tastings from over 20 South Dakota breweries including Spearfish’s Crow Peak, Sawyer and Spearfish brewing companies. The festivities also included live music, food trucks and lawn games. Visitors came to Spearfish from across South Dakota and surrounding states for the annual event. SEDC is a proud sponsor of the 605 Black Hills Classic Beer and Music Festival in partnership with various other Spearfish organizations and businesses.

SEDC Promotes Spearfish at Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow

Outdoor Recreation is an economic powerhouse in the U.S. with a $787 billion impact from businesses supporting 5.2 million jobs.

SEDC was at the epicenter of the outdoor recreation industry yet again this past month at the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow in Denver, Colorado. The Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow is North America’s largest tradeshow in the outdoor industry, drawing thousands of attendees from across the globe each year. This year’s show included more than 140 new exhibitors. SEDC worked to promote the many benefits of living, working and playing in Spearfish with aims to attract not only outdoor recreation businesses to the Spearfish area, but workers with interest in our outdoor recreation lifestyle as well.

SEDC Sponsors New Gameday Experience with BHSU

SEDC hosted the inaugural EndZone Club at the first Black Hills State University football game of the 2021 season against Dickinson State on September 2. The new EndZone Club provided field-level views of the game, easy access to food and drink vendors, and the opportunity to socialize underneath the EndZone Club tent. One-hundred and fifty complimentary tickets were shared with SEDC members and other economic development partners to witness and enjoy the new BHSU football experience. The event was not only a great way to say “Thank You” to the SEDC membership, but also an expression of community support for our colleagues at BHSU.

SEDC Continues to Represent Spearfish on Regional and Statewide Boards

SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken was recently selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the newly formed Economic Development Professionals Association of South Dakota (EDPASD).  EDPASD is a member-based organization serving communities statewide, with a mission to champion the growth and diversification of South Dakota‘s economy through professional development, networking, and advocacy.

Earlier this month, Menken was also elected Chairman of the Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance. Rushmore Region is an economic development initiative of Black Hills Community Economic Development and was created to stimulate and increase business investment in the Black Hills. The organization is comprised of a variety of communities and organizations from Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade, and Pennington counties.

One of the action items of the 2020-2023 SEDC Strategic Plan is to continue to increase SEDC’s presence in the economic development community and identify synergies with organizations that have similar missions. “In addition to being actively involved in numerous Spearfish organizations, the SEDC Board and staff are engaged at regional, state, and national levels as well,” said Menken. “Collaboration and partnerships are key to the continued success of both SEDC and Spearfish.

SEDC and Visit Spearfish Partner at Grillfest in St. Paul, MN

SEDC recently partnered with Visit Spearfish in St. Paul, MN to host a booth at Grillfest. The partnership was a continuation of ongoing efforts by both organizations to attract new workers, businesses and visitors to Spearfish.

SEDC Marketing Coordinator Cayley Schmitt and Visit Spearfish Marketing Assistant Jackie Robles interacted with hundreds of guests at the event, promoting Spearfish’s outstanding craft brewing and food scenes, outdoor recreation environment, favorable business climate, education and employment opportunities, and quality of life.

The upcoming 605 Black Hills Classic Beer Festival, to be held in Spearfish’s Lions Park on September 11, was also promoted during the event. The upcoming beer festival, hosted by 605 Magazine and sponsored by Visit Spearfish, SEDC and others, will feature unlimited beer tastings from breweries across South Dakota as well as live music and food trucks by local artists and entrepreneurs.

“We found the event [Grillfest] fit for collaboration with Spearfish Economic Development to further promote the outdoor adventure, beer and food culture that Spearfish is home to,” said Visit Spearfish Executive Director, Mistie Caldwell. “Everyone starts as a visitor and Visit Spearfish understands the importance of introducing visitors to the business side of our community, and Grillfest gave both organizations the opportunity to fulfill our missions and are excited to see the impact it will have on the economic development of Spearfish in the future!”