Daugaard said part of the Golf Classic is about building relationships with those leaders to help create more economic development. Leaders from about 30 companies were on the green with him on Thursday, and discussing either expanding in or moving their businesses to South Dakota.
He would not confirm which companies, but said they range from manufacturing and to information technology and could add hundreds of jobs.
“Companies want to come where they are welcome and South Dakota has its doors open to business,” Daugaard said.
New plants like Bel Brands USA are helping the state maintain its 4.3 percent unemployment rate, the third lowest in the nation. Even though there is evidence the state has been cushioned from the recession, Daugaard said he wants to keep building it up.
“When you attract some of those small to medium sized companies, they grow and grow and grow,” Daugaard said.
I don’t know if the average joe realizes the type of impact some of these economic development efforts can have. Living in Brookings, I can tell you that it’s massive. This town – the #2 manufacturing town in South Dakota – continues to have massive growth, and it shows no sign of abating.
The Bel Brands production plant coming here has over 20 people coming over from France alone, not to mention the 400 jobs that it is bringing to the area.
400 jobs begets more housing, more retail, more service industries to service the people and the businesses. They project a $100 million will be spent to construct the plant and the economic impact will be in the neighborhood of a $500 million gain.
If we can start more projects like that by the Governor hitting the links with some corporate heads, then I say “Game On.”