1 Aug 2016
Wall Economic Development Blog
As the cliché says, time flies when you are having fun! WEDC has been having plenty of fun this month. As I sit to write this newsletter, it amazes me that we are already in the final month of summer. Although it is always sad to see summer go, I am excited for the plans WEDC has for the fall.
What’s Coming Up?
The housing study is almost complete! A representative from Community Partners Research will present the findings during the September 15th City Council meeting, 6:30 pm in the Wall Community Center Meeting Room. Don’t worry if you cannot make this meeting. WEDC is planning to present the findings to the community more than once. Stay tuned!
Badlands Community Farmers Market (BCFM)
The BCFM group is growing and moving forward! The group held a meeting on Thursday, July 28th to discuss future market plans. BCFM plans to hold its first market day September 10th during the 4th Avenue Floral Fall Festival. If you or someone you know is at all interested in the farmers market, please contact Garrett Shearer at 605-515-4932.
Marketing Hometown America
I have been talking about Marketing Hometown America for months and we are finally almost ready to begin! If you are interested in expanding leadership opportunities, providing opportunity for adult and youth engagement, increasing community networking, expanding civic awareness and community spirit, marketing the community or improving amenities, you will not want to miss this!
WEDC and SDSU Extension will be hosting a Marketing Hometown America information session at 6 pm, Monday, August 29th at the Wall Community Center. All community members are welcome to join and we hope to see you all there!
Business Retention and Expansion
Business Education Classes – What’s Ahead?
WEDC is continuing conversation with the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) to plan future business development classes. We are using Wall business owner survey responses and feedback from our June 30th SD CEO community meeting to shape class offerings.
However, you do not have to wait for the classes to come to Wall! You can start learning online right away thanks to Wall’s great Internet access. Ed2Go offers several online courses that can help your business in a number of ways. You can take classes that will improve your business expertise or you can learn a new skill. You can sign your employees up for classes to improve their skills and knowledge as well! Find more information about these classes and more at the SD CEO webpage, or just click here: http://www.ed2go.com/bhsu/
What have we been up to?
Wall Archery Day
We held our first Archery Day on Friday, July 29th. It was incredibly successful! There were over 75 attendees made up of youth and adults who came from Wall, Philip and Kadoka. The great event attendance was very encouraging, and showed that Wall and surrounding communities are very interested in a permanent archery range. Therefore, WEDC is looking into funding options to get an archery range started, including the Wellmark Community Foundation Kickstarter Grant for up to $10,000. WEDC is excited about the potential of making this range a reality and will keep the community informed as we move forward.
What are we learning?
Chamber Director and WEDC board member Cindy Schuler and I attended the inaugural Rural X Conference, created by Dakota Resources. It was a “rural experience,” that was “dedicated to helping connect rural change makers to valuable resources and like-minded people across the state.”
The Rural X Conference was unlike any conference I have ever attended. The conference started with speaker Emily Pilloton, the creator of a non-profit group called “Project H.” She shared how she inspires youth through building and design. Emily inspired me to work even harder to engage our youth in planning and designing the future of our community. Our students are the future of community, economic and workforce development in Wall.
Becky McCray and Deb Brown were two inspirational Rural X keynote speakers. WEDC has used several of their webinars as inspiration and motivation to create opportunities in our community. They spoke about five innovative rural business models. This session drove home the idea that just because we are rural, it does not mean we are not innovative. There are several opportunities in rural communities for co-working spaces, event pop-ups, and much more!
We also experienced an “Open Market” session, where attendees created the agenda and action planning sessions. I was able to attend three breakout sessions, including: Connecting the School With the Community, Connecting Rural Agriculture Producers with the Community, and Workforce Action Planning. These sessions were extremely valuable. We discussed rural challenges and possible solutions. As Becky McCray and Deb Brown said, small steps are the best way to overcome huge challenges.
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