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Economic development group seeks $2M from Rapid City

July 6, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — An economic development group is asking Rapid City for $2 million over the next five years to create nearly 5,000 jobs and draw $300 million in business investment.

The Elevate Rapid City group pitched the plan to city officials Monday, the Rapid City Journal reported . Elevate aims to create high-paying jobs by helping local startups grow, supporting the growth of the Ellsworth Air Force Base, improving the current workforce’s skills and enhancing the city’s business reputation.

The group hopes to achieve those goals by supporting the city’s new innovation center, increasing the business community’s engagement with universities and improving programs for childcare, housing and licensure reciprocity for military families. The organization also hopes to create a STEM-based pipeline for high school students and attracting high-paying industries in the financial, health care, research, manufacturing and energy sectors.

“It’s a collective effort to improve our economic wellbeing in this community,” said David Lust, a co-chairman of Elevate.

Per capita income, job growth and new business investments will serve as benchmarks and be tracked monthly, according to group leaders.

City officials have yet to make a decision about the funding request, said city spokesman Darrell Shoemaker.

Elevate plans to draft and adopt bylaws this month, and officers will also be recommended. The group’s first board meeting will be held next month and the first quarterly investors meeting will be held in September, where details will be given about a longer-term strategy.

The group includes the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, Ellsworth Development Authority and Economic Development Foundation. The group has raised $4 million in private-sector funding.

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

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