Regional Roundtable Serves Northeastern South Dakota
Thursday, September 08, 2016
Yesterday, the Regional Roundtable welcomed the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Scott Stern. The recently appointed Commissioner addressed the group and took time to answer questions and listen to group concerns. The Commissioner was joined by Deputy Commissioner Aaron Scheible, Research and Community Development Director Joe Fiala, and Finance Director Cassie Stoeser.
For several years, GROW SD has facilitated quarterly Regional Roundtable meetings of the group in northeastern South Dakota. Dozens of leaders attend these impactful meetings, which typically include one or two speakers on topics relevant to rural development, followed by discussion and roundtable sharing. Participants share challenges and learn how others have confronted and solved similar issues. Nonprofits provide peer-to-peer support in replicating well established, successful programs for use by other nonprofits such as revolving loan funds, healthy food co-ops, farmers markets, walk/bike trails, energy savings programs, Internet access, and more.
Ideas and innovations have emerged from the Roundtable and moved into communities. One example of an idea that came up in conversation around the table is the First Impression tour. A few Regional Partners talked at a meeting about visiting each other’s communities for a tour in which they would enter the community from each direction and share their reactions. They did it in their own communities and returned to the Roundtable to present their results. After that, a First Impression tour checklist was developed, and other communities used it. It has also been incorporated into GROW South Dakota’s Grow Housing technical assistance program to work with communities in addressing housing issues. It has been a very useful tool for learning about one’s own community.
The Regional Roundtable continues to meet regularly, helping both the new and existing economic development professional.
Category: GROW SD