SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A group dedicated to creating a brighter future for Sioux Falls announced a new plan Tuesday Forward Sioux Falls is made up of business leaders. They’ve raised nearly $53 million since forming in 1987.
“It’s really important that we don’t just get stagnant that we still come up with new ideas and new ways to move the community forward,” said Co-Chair Dave Rozenboom
Since the group’s inception, Forward Sioux Falls has worked to make the city a better place to live and do business. They do that by planning for the future.
Today the group gathered at the Hub Auditorium on the Campus of South East Technical College to announce plans for the next 5 years. They include a fund to create more affordable housing, support for Career Connections which is designed help incoming high school juniors and seniors who are sometimes new to this country.
They also support the Reach Literacy Program. Forward Sioux Falls also wants to create more partnerships between DSU and local tech companies and they also support the Innovation Center of Excellence
Forward Sioux Falls has set a fundraising goal of $15 million, they’ve already raised just under $10 million.
“The biggest thing about Forward Sioux Falls is how a community our size can have a campaign of this size, 15 plus million dollars with 75 to 80 percent raised by the private sector and only 20 percent of that coming from the public sector,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken.
One of the more unique aspects of the group has to do with two of its co-chairs.
It’s not very often you get the leaders of Avera and Sanford working together over a long period of time. Dave Flicek is President of Avera McKennan Hospital and Paul Hanson is President of Sanford Sioux Falls.
“You can compete competitively in the health care environment but at the same time we do see the importance of growing Sioux Falls, that all boats rise with the rising tide,” Flicek said.
Leaders of Forward Sioux Falls say they believe the private sector is more willing to step up with funding because of the city’s business-friendly environment and reasonable taxes.