1 Apr 2017
Springing into the Future of Wall!
As usual, another month has flown by and it is finally spring! Spring often brings green grass, new life and anticipation for the quickly approaching summertime. WEDC has been celebrating spring with the re-opening of a local business, the excitement of exploring and exposing future careers for Wall’s young people and bringing new ideas to the community through Marketing Hometown America. The future of Wall is full of energy WEDC is excited to spring forward!
Welcome New Owners of the Wall Meat Processing Plant!
Area producers and local consumers will once again be able to process and purchase meat orders locally thanks to Janet Niehaus and Ken Charfauros.
Janet and Ken are the new owners of the Wall Meat Processing Plant. The sale transaction is scheduled for today, April 3rd, and new employees will start April 4th.The new owners will begin taking orders for custom and retail services on April 5th. There will be a grand opening set for a later date.
Janet and Ken are looking forward to owning this important, local business.
“As new owners, we look forward to serving local farmers and ranchers and becoming an active and productive component of the Wall community,” Janet said.
To contact Janet or Ken to place an order, you can call 605-279-2348.
WEDC would like to invite the community to congratulate Ken and Janet on their recent purchase, and thank them for investing in our community. We wish Ken and Janet the best of luck and are excited to have them in Wall!
Marketing Hometown America – Marching into the Future
Several community members gathered in the Wall Multipurpose Room for the Marketing Hometown America Action Forum on Friday, March 24th. Attendees shared ideas, ate a meal served by the Wall Methodist Church Youth Group, and listened to the talented Wall High School Band.
Six different community “think tanks”, which included almost 50 community members, met throughout the course of eight weeks to discuss ideas to better market Wall to current and potential residents. The groups were made up of community members of all ages, backgrounds and occupations. Then, all of their ideas were brought together during the Marketing Hometown America Action Forum.
The groups presented their marketing plans during the event. First, groups presented their ideas for community slogans. The ideas were, “Park it here,” “Home is where the heart is,” “Come to Wall – Fun for all – A family friendly town,” and “Moving at the speed of life.”
Several groups identified that they want to recruit young families to Wall and they listed ideas to make Wall a more family-friendly community. These ideas included: create a community welcoming committee/welcome basket, City park upgrades, City pool upgrades, sidewalk improvements, creating a “community square,” establishing a drive-in movie theatre, recruiting home-based entrepreneurs, adult education classes, biking and trail groups, creating a community garden, establishing an ice rink, creating a parks and recreation committee, star gazing activities, hosting home and garden tours, bringing 5K runs of half-marathons to Wall, holding golf and archery lessons, improving housing, creating safer routes to school, expanding the community cleanup, making space for a dog park and holding more events such as crafting classes.
Attendees were then asked to “vote” on which project they would like to help make a reality. The ideas that received the most “votes” were the drive-in movie theatre, the ice rink, the establishment of a parks and recreation committee, working to improve housing and finding ways to recruit home-based entrepreneurs. Then, everyone had the opportunity to sign up for “action committees,” who will plan to meet and work on these ideas.
Several community volunteers and organizations helped make Marketing Hometown America possible, including: City of Wall, SDSU Extension – Community Vitality, Dave Olson Community Program Memorial Fund, Wall Methodist Youth Group, Wall High School Band, Wall School, and several businesses and community members who allowed space for the meetings to take place.
If you want to get involved or kick start one of these ideas, call me, Cheyenne McGriff, right away at 605-279-2658.
Building our Future Workforce
Career Round Tables
WEDC realizes that in order to grow our community, we need to work with Wall’s young people to show that Wall can be a wonderful place to have a career and life after high school.
WEDC organized the first “Career Round Tables” event on March 20th. Thanks to help and support from the Wall School and community volunteers, the high school students had the opportunity to be exposed to several career opportunities that exist in Wall. The students we able to spend 15 minutes with four different community members, all representing diverse careers that exist in Wall. There were representatives from West River Electric Association, First Western Insurance Agency, Black Hills Federal Credit Union, Golden West, Wall Ambulance District, US Forest Service, a nurse anesthesiologist, Badlands Harley Davidson, Minute Man National Historic Site, Badlands National Park, Wall Food Center, the Wall School and Wall Drug Store. The students asked questions about how these individuals found careers in Wall, what education and career path they took to achieve the position they have now, and why they decided to live and work in Wall.
The goal of the “Career Round Tables” was to show students that there are several career possibilities in Wall beyond what they may think. Before starting the conversations, the students were asked to raise their hands if they believed they could have a career in Wall. Only a handful of students raised their hands. Following the “Career Round Table” discussions, almost every student raised their hands!
Badlands Bad River Regional Job Fair and Business Expo
WEDC worked with the Badlands Bad River Region to organize and execute the second annual BBR Job Fair and Business Expo on March 28th. The event included a job fair, business expo and a resource fair.
This year, there were 31 exhibitors representing regional businesses, post-secondary educational institutions and resource providers. The Wall High School sophomore through senior classes as well as the Philip High School students all attended the event.
In addition to advertising current positions, the goals of the BBR Job Fair and Business Expo were to show residents what types of positions are available in the BBR region, now and in the future. The group wanted to encourage the young people in the community to consider how they could work for businesses in the region as adults. WEDC and BBR also wanted to let them know what type of education and experience might be needed for these future positions. Another goal of the BBR Job Fair and Business Expo was to connect students and job seekers to post-secondary schools that will provide the education needed for regional jobs. Resource providers were available to discuss available support if they choose to start their own business. Overall, the event hoped to encourage both high school students and job seekers alike that there are several career opportunities in Wall!
Value-Added Agriculture and Wall’s Future Potential
Wall has several opportunities for value-added agriculture businesses and growth, and WEDC is trying to start connecting the dots to help prepare the community for this future.
On March 27th, WEDC hosted the “Value-Added Agriculture-Wall’s Future Potential” discussion. Speakers included Eric Fosheim, Business Development Representative from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Bob Weyrich, Western South Dakota Agriculture Development Representative from the SD Department of Agriculture and Elwyn Beck, owner of Biological Energy Solutions. The speakers presented their role in bringing value-added agriculture opportunities to the state and to Wall and shared advice as to how Wall can be better prepared for future projects.
If you are interested in learning more about value-added agriculture opportunities, or would like to be part of planning for the future of this business development, please call WEDC Board Member Josh Geigle at 605-441-4602 or Cheyenne McGriff at 605-279-2658.
WEDC had a busy March and is looking forward to a busy April, May, June and beyond! The WEDC Board of Directors will be holding a strategic planning session on April 12th, and we look forward to sharing our goals for the organization and the community.
If you are interested in learning more about WEDC and our goals or projects, or would like to be involved, never hesitate to contact me.
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director