Belle Fourche, SD - The global supply chain crisis, government financial aid and a desire to support the "Made in America" movement have convinced a California company to propose a massive ramen complex in a small Black Hills city."I think we'll be one of the larger, if not the largest, ramen producing facilities in the country," said Bill Saller, CEO of Albany Farms. "Anything that we possibly can source locally, we will."
The complex would include a flour mill, production factories, and packaging areas that would produce more than 100 million packages of ramen each year, Saller said. It would eventually employ up to 900 workers earning what Saller described as "living wages."
The ramen complex will take advantage of the Belle Fourche Rail Park and the statewide agriculture economy. Wheat will be brought to the factory while ramen cups and packets will be shipped by train, Saller said.
"We're super happy to have Albany Farms here," said Hollie Stalder, executive director of the Belle Fourche Development Corporation. "Of course it's great for job creation, and it's a perfect tie-in with the agricultural background that Belle Fourche has. Our transportation network will serve them well and we're so happy that our industrial park was ideally suited for their needs."
Albany Farms recently bought a building in Belle Fourche for its factory and is working on purchasing 11 of the surrounding acres, according to company spokeswoman Stephanie Magoon.
The development corporation is working to donate 23 acres, Stalder said. The corporation will pay $342,032 to add railroad spurs for Albany Farms and other businesses, pending the receipt of a $1.4 million federal grant, according to public records.
Albany Farms also received a $1.3 million loan from the Governor's Office of Economic Development. The company plans to use the loan to purchase manufacturing equipment and is also applying for federal funding.The company — known for its Panda Signature ramen brand — manufactures its products overseas but decided it needed to switch gears once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
"With the onset of COVID, importing food became problematic. Transportation has become a major issue for food companies and certainly for us," Saller said. Saller said the price for their shipping containers has increased an average of $18,000 per container. "That takes the ramen product and basically doubles the cost to import it," he said, so the company decided to move all manufacturing to the United States.The 38-acre Belle Fourche site is in the town's industrial and rail park, and includes a 50,000-sq. ft building. Future plans include expanding the building to 150,000-sq. ft., building a second 180,000-sq. ft. factory, 50,000-sq. ft. flour mill, and a small packaging facility.
Excerpts from SDPB Radio | Arielle Zionts
SPEARFISH, SD – Construction for the first home at Sky Ridge, a workforce housing development and adjacent sports complex near Exit 17, began this month during a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating this milestone to create affordable housing for Spearfish. The property for Sky Ridge was purchased in 2019, and construction began in Fall 2020.
“The need for more affordable housing has long been a topic of concern for communities across the nation, and I am proud that Spearfish has worked to make this priority a reality,” Mayor Dana Boke said. “To see construction begin on what will become a home for a local family is exciting, and I am thankful to everyone who has worked hard to bring this project to fruition.”
Sky Ridge includes 150 lots for workforce housing, developed in phases over five years. The current contract requires 40 percent, or 60 homes, to be sold at or below $197,000; 40 percent to be sold at or below $247,000; and the remaining 20 percent (30 homes) sold up to the maximum price point established the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, which is currently $300,000. The square-footage of the home designs varies from 800-1,700 square feet, and Dream Design International, Inc., is responsible for constructing the homes.
The first three residential housing building permits have been issued, with another 27 homes expected to be under construction over the next year.
“One of the top concerns we hear from our Spearfish employers is the increasing difficultly to find reasonably priced housing for middle-income workers. The Sky Ridge development is a huge step in the right direction to helping provide home ownership opportunities to our skilled laborers, police officers, teachers, health care workers, retail professionals, and many others wanting to both work and live in Spearfish,” said Kory Menken, Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) executive director. “SEDC applauds the City of Spearfish and Dream Design International for bringing this project to reality, and we are proud we were able to be a part of it.”
Construction at Sky Ridge will be visible over the next five years, with the approximately 40-acre sports complex expected to be open for play in Spring 2023. The development’s design includes 180 lots (150 of which are dedicated to workforce housing).
Excerpts from City of Spearfish Press Release
HILL CITY, SD - Hill City Economic Development Corporation (HCEDC) will have a new housing study in hand by April 2022, funded in part thanks to economic development partner Black Hills Energy. HCEDC’s hope is that the housing study will shed light on the confusing 2020 census data and expose a need for housing of all types in the Hill City area. This housing study will show if there is a need for attainable housing, homes that a dual income Hill City couple could afford. The HCEDC Board sees a need for as many as 120 homes in the area. This study will also look at a 10-mile radius of Hill City, including the former lumber mill site. The biggest type of housing that the HCEDC would like to accomplish is seasonal housing by giving them a comfortable place to stay. The HCEDC board is also conducting a parking/signage study for the City. This will be for tourists to find parking, restrooms, and therefore be able to keep them in Hill City for longer periods of time, increasing overall spending. The board is also working on increasing cell phone coverage and broadband offerings in the region, have a sponsored recycling center drop off, hiking and biking trails that begin or end in city limits, ways to improve the parks, create a dog park, and ideas for increasing water and sewer infrastructure. The Hill City EDC board is working hard and is a vibrant community partner.
Provided by Hill City Economic Development Corporation
BELLE FOURCHE, SD – The Belle Fourche Development Corporation (BFDC) held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate work being done to expand the rail siding at the Belle Fourche Industrial and Rail Park.
“It’s wonderful to have this culmination today,” BFDC Executive Director Hollie Stalder said. “Transportation is key to industry supply in the tri-state region, which we’re known for here (in Belle Fourche) … From feed and seed supply to plastics, steel, oil, and gas, the Belle Fourche rail siding provides the means to connect to our customers.”
Federal Railroad Administration and South Dakota Department of Transportation grant funds were awarded to construct a $2.4 million rail project at the rail park. BFDC sought out the grant, an 80/20 match, which required $480,000, or 20%, for the local match.
The organization then secured an additional state grant which would finance 50% of the local match, leaving $240,000 remaining. During budget discussions in 2020, BFDC received approval from both the Belle Fourche City Council and the Butte County Commission to allocated $120,000 each to fulfill the remaining funds needed.Currently, Stalder said the rail siding and spur, which was officially finished and christened in 2016, can accommodate up to 27 rail cars. Through the help of federal and state grants, construction will expand the track in the industrial park in Belle Fourche to accommodate up to 90 cars, culminating the three-year process. The project entails the construction of two additional tracks, with four new turnouts, additional crossings, access roads, and approximately 65 additional rail cars worth of storage space.
Excerpts from BH Pioneer | Lacey Peterson
It was another eventful year and included one of the biggest recruiting projects in Rapid City’s history (Aesir Technologies and the potential for up to 1500 jobs), movement on the B-21, the launch of the Elevate Leadership Institute, and the rolling out of Elevate’s workforce development grant programs. Through the Elevate magazine, we also told dozens and dozens of stories of small businesses and individuals in the Black Hills making a difference in people’s lives. And we also saw a return of mixers and expanded event opportunities through our Critical Issues Luncheons, where we explored topics like infrastructure, housing, and workforce.In 2022, these programs, along with our other signature programs, will remain. These include the Elevate Prosperity Insight Center (EPIC), Rapid Fund, Downtown Façade Loan fund, business advocacy, crackerbarrels, and our monthly economic indicators. However, we also know we’ve got to respond to the housing and workforce demands of a growing region, and those challenges won’t be easy. We plan on getting right out of the gate, for instance, by hiring a housing coordinator in January. And we think that’s just the beginning, so stay tuned.Until that time, enjoy the holidays with your family and loved ones. And check out our Annual Report and the accompanying video, which we hope will fill you with hope for the future of the region! Thank you for your continued support.
Stay safe and God-speed,
Tom Johnson, President and CEO
With a million-acre backyard playground, the Rushmore Region offers enticing year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, making it a natural fit for outdoor adventure companies. The region enjoys over 450 hiking and mountain biking trails, nearly 1,000 granite spires for rock climbing, 800 miles of sparkling streams for some of the best fly fishing in the country, and some of the highest vertical snow skiing between the Rockies and New England.
As a growing number of corporations and businesses relocate to the Black Hills, lured by a vibrant economy and a lifestyle rooted in outdoor recreation and surrounding natural wonders, their commercial activities have driven an increased need for support services ranging from call centers to manufacturers and parts suppliers.
Where else, but in the Rushmore Region of South Dakota, can you combine the nation's best business climate with unmatched beauty and recreation?
South Dakota consistently receives high marks for fiscal strength and a pro-business attitude, which includes no income tax, no personal property tax, no business inventory tax, and no inheritance tax. A low cost of living index coupled with a low crime rate makes South Dakota a highly livable state.
While people in more metropolitan areas can spend hours of drive time, the region’s average commute is 18 minutes. What that means is more time for cultural activities, fishing, hiking, relaxing with family, or doing whatever it is that makes you happiest.
Read more about the excellent quality of life in the Rushmore Region of Western South Dakota, including:
The Rushmore Region is known as the "Banana Belt," because on many winter days the Black Hills bask in sun and warmth. Location and geology combine to protect the region from many of the winter weather systems originating in Canada and the Northwest. Warm air from down sloping Chinook winds can create surprisingly warm winter days.
The Rushmore Region of South Dakota can best be described as high, dry, and moderate. The region has less snow than Denver, warmer winters than Minneapolis, and more sunshine days than Miami.
Elevations in the Rushmore Region range from 3,022’ above sea level in Belle Fourche to 5,318’ above sea level in Custer. Black Elk Peak in Custer State Park is 7,244’ above sea level, the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains.
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The Rushmore Region is a more affordable option than larger metro areas such as Denver and Minneapolis, and much more stable than oil boomtowns to the north. The region offers the amenities of larger cities, but at a much more palatable cost.
Use the Real Wage Calculator to find out after taxes, how much of your income you take home, and how much can you buy with your hard earned wages. real wage calculator The bottom line is…location matters. And we can prove it.
Finding the right place to live in the Rushmore Region is easy and flexible.
You can live in a log home among the Ponderosa pine trees in the Black Hills, a ranch-style home – with a real horse ranch – on the high plains, or a residential neighborhood close to services. Whatever you choose, your commute time will be relatively short.
The Rushmore Region housing market is stable yet strong. According to Realtor.com, the 2019 average selling price for single-family homes in the six-county area was $245,275. The housing market is driven by the Rushmore Region's scenic beauty, low taxes, stable prices, economic diversity and access to retail, healthcare and other professional services. And when you’re ready for retirement? South Dakota ranks #4 on Bankrate’s 2019 Best States to Retire list.
The Rushmore Region is known throughout the Black Hills and surrounding states for its quality healthcare services, advanced medical and surgical specialties, and updated imaging and diagnostic technology.
Monument Health is a tax-exempt, community-based organization committed to serving and strengthening health care for people living in the Black Hills and surrounding region, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. As a proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Monument Health shares Mayo Clinic's patient-centered culture and commitment to improving the delivery of health care. Monument Health is comprised of more than 40 health care facilities, and with over 5,000 employees, it is the region’s largest employer. Its flagship medical center is Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, offering a broad scope of services. Other community hospital locations include Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Spearfish, and Sturgis. - Visit Site
A physician-owned surgical hospital, Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City offers a wide range of surgical procedures with 11 operating rooms, private step-down areas, 26 private recovery suites, a state-of-the-art imaging center and pain clinic, and nearly 400 employees. - Visit Site
For over 35 years, this Rapid City-based institute has been offering world-class eye care in the five-state region, with nine satellite clinics and the most modern and complex eye facility in Rapid City. The Black Hills Regional Eye Institute provides care such eye exams, glaucoma treatment, cataract surgery, retina and cornea, pediatric care and strabismus, oculoplastic, and sophisticated refractive surgery techniques. - Visit Site
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs maintains the VA Black Hills Health Care System, which provides primary and secondary medical and surgical care, residential rehabilitation treatment program services, extended nursing home care, and tertiary psychiatric inpatient services for veterans in South Dakota, portions of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
Care is delivered primarily through the Fort Meade and Hot Springs VA Medical Centers, as well as through a number of community-based outpatient and rural outreach clinics. - Visit Site
The Rushmore Region, home to two world-famous sculptures – Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial – has nurtured its reputation as a Mecca for visual and performing arts. Here is a sample:
Not only is the Rushmore Region a great place to work, it's a great place to play. A veritable million-acre playground, the Black Hills stand on the Great Plains as an emerald oasis in a vast sea of surrounding prairie. Its wonders include world-class trout fishing, world-class rock climbing, thousands of miles of hiking, biking and snowmobile trails, five national parks, monuments and memorials (the highest concentration of parks, monuments and memorials in America), and a myriad of big-game hunting opportunities. – Visit Site
Here are a few highlights:
Our higher education and R&D partners help stimulate economic growth by supplying a skilled and educated workforce pipeline to businesses in the region, along with providing innovative technology and techniques to help further company growth.
Black Hills State University, the state’s third largest university, is a four-year university located in Spearfish that offers 80 academic programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. With more than 3,800 students from 44 states and 29 countries, BHSU has earned a reputation for transforming lives through innovative, high-quality academic programs and a dynamic learning community. - Visit Site
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT) in Rapid City is a four-year university that offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Founded in 1885, SDSMT is also an engineering research university. In 2018-19, 2,778 students from 44 states and 30 countries were enrolled at the university. - Visit Site
Black Hills State University - Rapid City provides satellite classes and degrees offered in partnership through South Dakota’s six public universities. Students can enroll in certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree programs. - Visit Site
The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University both offer Schools of Nursing, and provide a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Coursework for both programs is offered through the Black Hills State University-Rapid City campus. Visit USD Site. Visit SDSU Site.
Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City is the only technical institute serving western South Dakota. With over 2,000 students, WDT offers more than 35 programs in some of the fastest growing professional fields such as business, information technology, construction trades, health services, legal services, manufacturing, mechanical trades, and science and technology. - Visit Site
National American University, located in Rapid City, is a for-profit institution catering to non-traditional students. NAU offers on-line programs in fields such as accounting, business, legal, technology, and health services, and maintains a satellite campus at Ellsworth Air Force Base for military staff and families. - Visit Site
Oglala Lakota College is chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and provides educational opportunities that enhance Lakota life. These include certificates, GED, associate’s, bachelor’s degrees, and a master’s degree in Lakota Leadership. Campuses are located in Kyle (on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) and Rapid City. - Visit Site
Both Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offer research centers that allow for collaboration and highly-technical work on specific areas of inquiry, including:
The Sanford Underground Science Laboratory is an underground laboratory near Lead that houses multiple physics experiments in areas such as dark matter and neutrino research. It is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Deep Underground Science and Engineering (DUSEL) project in partnership with Chicago-based Fermilab. Learn more at www.sanfordlab.org.
Mike Headley, Lab Director
Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
630 East Summit Street
Lead, SD 57754
In the Rushmore Region, the “Midwestern work ethic” goes beyond the cliché. Located in a right-to-work state, the region boasts a workforce with a wide range of skills – from skilled tradesman who understand the nuances of metal manufacturing, to engineers and research scientists. Not only is South Dakota a right-to-work state, we have low unemployment rates and one of the highest net in-bound migration rates in the country. Our workforce choses to make the Rushmore Region their home.
Industries throughout the region work with these educational institutions to develop customized training programs specific to their needs:
Local companies also have access to several programs to help recruit and train new and existing employees through the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development. For more information on their extensive capabilities, visit https://sdgoed.com/build-your-business/workforce-education/
As workforce experts, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation offers a vast variety of training and education programs to help ensure employers have a skilled workforce, and to help individuals realize their potential as employees. They can adapt and customize education and job training programs to meet the changing demands of employers.
For more information, visit their website at https://dlr.sd.gov/.
|Monument Health||Healthcare, Hospitals||Rapid City, Spearfish, Sturgis, Deadwood, Custer, Belle Fourche, Wall||5,100|
|Ellsworth Air Force Base||Military, Civilian||Box Elder||4,252|
|Federal Government||Government||Rapid City||2,912|
|Rapid City School District||Education||Rapid City||1,774|
|Walmart / Sam's Club||Retail||Rapid City & Spearfish||1,399|
|State of South Dakota||Government||Rapid City||1,217|
|VA System Black Hills Healthcare||Healthcare, Hospitals||Sturgis & Hot Springs||1,051|
|Black Hills Corporation||Corporate Headquarters / Energy||Rapid City||850|
|City of Rapid City||Government||Rapid City||815|
|Pennington County||Government||Rapid City||743|
|Liv Hospitality||Travel, Tourism, Entertainment||Rapid City, Deadwood, Box Elder||733|
|Black Hills Special Services||Education||Sturgis||578|
|Black Hills Works||Human Services||Rapid City||550|
|South Dakota School of Mines & Technology||Education||Rapid City||442|
|Black Hills State University||Education||Spearfish||415|
|Black Hills Surgical Hospital||Healthcare||Rapid City||390|
|South Dakota National Guard||Military||Rapid City||370|
|Meade School District||Education||Sturgis||350|
|Synchrony Financial Customer Service Center||Private Label Credit Cards||Rapid City||325|
|Advanced Services, Inc. (ASI)||Customer Service Center, GE Appliance Support||Rapid City||319|
|Neiman Enterprises, Inc.||Lumber / Forest Products||Spearfish & Hill City||313|
|Spearfish School District||Education||Spearfish||250|
|Scull Construction||Construction||Rapid City||246|
|Assurant||Specialty Insurance||Rapid City||230|
|RESPEC||Corporate Headquarters / Engineering||Rapid City||230|
|Fleet Farm||Retail||Rapid City||185|
|Runnings||Retail||Rapid City & Belle Fourche||150|
|Mass Markets Customer Service Center||Business Process Outsourcing||Spearfish||100|
The average industrial electricity rate in the Rushmore Region is 6.18¢/kWh. This is 7.35% less than the national average rate of 6.67¢/kWh. Industrial rates in the U.S. range from 4.13¢/kWh to 30.82¢/kWh.
Sources: National Renewable Energy Laboratory; U.S. Department of Energy
Montana-Dakota Utilities’ engineers work with large commercial and industrial customers as a one-stop shop for energy needs by providing engineering advice, up-to-date information on new energy technology, financial analysis, vendor referral and energy auditing services.
A reliable system of telecommunications support ensures that companies are never without connectivity no matter where they operate. Rural South Dakotans have greater access to wired broadband telecommunications services than many of their counterparts across the country.
Sources: South Dakota Dashboard; South Dakota Telecommunications Association
South Dakota’s telecommunications infrastructure is highlighted by:
Ranked third in the nation for highway performance and cost-effectiveness, South Dakota’s highway infrastructure is one of the very best in the country, with low congestion, quality maintenance and short commute times. The average commute time in the Rushmore Region is only 18 minutes.
The Rushmore Region is located along the following Interstates and highways:
The Rushmore Region Alliance is a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. This advocacy group from a nine-state, 2,300+ mile economic development corridor between Texas, and Alberta, Canada collaborates with federal and state leaders, partners in Canada and Mexico, and industry partners, to deliver the infrastructure, food and fuel to secure the quality of life of America's cities. This provides the Rushmore Region with a built-in pipeline for exporting area goods.
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Rapid City Regional Airport, eight miles east of Rapid City, services the entire Rushmore Region.
The airport is served by the following carriers:
The Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern (RCP&E) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroads operate lines in the Rushmore Region for the purpose of transporting intermodal freight and bulk cargo. RCP&E operates the former Canadian Pacific line. BNSF operates a line that runs through the southwest corner of the Black Hills.
The Belle Fourche Industrial and Rail Park https://bfdcsd.com/industrial/ specializes in intermodal freight and warehouse capabilities for the region. It is a 75-acre South Dakota Certified Ready Site accessible to RCP&E, which connects with three Class 1 rail partners: BNSF, Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific.