Help Langford, SD win a $25,000 grant

You can help the community of Langford, SD win a $25,000 Neighborhood Assist Grant from State Farm! The funds will help establish The Front Porch, a unique gathering spot where community members and visitors can gather together for social, business and family connections. Visit to cast your vote today!

Community Development Need

With a population of 318, Langford has been slowly losing Main Street storefronts for the past two decades. Although dilapidated buildings and empty lots dot the downtown area, the residents are proud of the businesses that serve local needs. Several years ago, a group of residents with a vision gathered together to discuss the decline and find ways to reverse the trend. They came up with the Langford Main Street Center – a project that is reviving the town and community spirit.

Locally funded and constructed, the center is a 5,000 square-foot structure that will include a hair salon, two office spaces and a restaurant and sports bar. It is owned by the community, managed by a local board of directors and financed by local investors. Nearing completion, the center’s trickle-down effect is already being realized as the city is seeing new housing construction and other business opportunities are being planned.

Grant Funding

According to project officials, the grant funding from State Farm will be used to help create an atmosphere that reflects local pride and shares the story of Langford and its history. The group hopes to create signage, logos, framed historic photos, local art and decor that is reflective of the community’s 130-year history and success.  The money will help Langford Main Street Center “create a unique gathering spot that welcomes customers and recognizes our citizen’s talents and accomplishments, great pioneer history, and tells the story of our existence as a rural community.”

Lasting Impact

The spirit and theme of “Hard Work Together” is woven deeply within the community and this community project. Residents believe the momentum created by this project and within local residents has spurred potential for new growth and a change in mindsets and actions. In fact, they believe surrounding communities have already begun to take notice what Langford can achieve.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program will award forty causes grants of $25,000 each. Voting is open and determines where the money is allocated. People can vote up to 10 times per day through June 3 using their Facebook account. Links to the voting site are available HERE or on the Front Porch Facebook page,

The Front Porch construction progress in April of 2015.

The Front Porch construction progress in April of 2015. Photo courtesy The Front Porch.

Hear from top site selectors and real-estate professionals

American Public Power Association is partnering with Area Development — a leader in site selection/relocation information and education — to host the first annual Public Power Consultants Forum, March 30 – April 1, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The forum educates public power utility economic developers, CEOs, and executive leaders — as well as policymakers, community officials and state/regional economic developers — on success strategies and best practices in economic development. This new annual event offers sessions on the site selection process, business retention and attraction strategies, and how utilities can work with economic developers and businesses.

What You’ll Learn

This new annual event features expert presentations and roundtable discussions on drivers of the site selection process, business retention and attraction strategies, growth industries, and guidance on how utilities can work with economic developers and businesses. Nationally recognized site selectors, top real-estate professionals, and industry executives offer insights on business trends and tools for success.

Specific topics include:

  • Current landscape of industrial site selection
    Brad Migdal, Executive Manager and Director, Industrial Site Selection & Business Incentives, Transwestern
  • Economic development and energy incentive program trends
    John Wolfram, Founder/CEO, Catalyst Consulting
  • Winning community/utility strategies in the business attraction hunt
    Ginovus, LLC (speaker TBD)
  • Successful retention and attraction in the country’s most active sectors
    Michael McDermott, Consulting Manager, Global Consulting Group, Cushman & Wakefield
  • Opportunities for economic development in today’s automotive industry
    Dennis Cuneo, Managing Director, Fisher & Phillips
  • Food processors: how they make their site selections
    David Sours, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Services Food Facilities, CBRE
  • Data centers 101: trends and site selection considerations
    Neale Rath, Manager, Global Expansion Optimization, Deloitte Consulting
  • Rural outsourcing: swapping Mumbai for Mobile
    Monty Hamilton, CEO, Rural Sourcing Inc.
  • The competitive workforce: think global, but it’s really local
    Speaker TBA
  • Anatomy of a deal: how it gets done right (panel discussion)

For more information or to register, click HERE. APPA members with inquiries: email Heidi Lambert or call 202/467-2921.

Area Development has been a leader in site selection/relocation information and education since 1965. APPA and Area Development have partnered for decades to bring the best in economic development education and resources to public power utilities. Area Development has led sessions at APPA’s annual Customer Connections Conference and we’re proud to expand our offerings through the new Public Power Consultants Forum.

Sioux Falls’ workforce development program invests in people and strengthens workforce

The City of Sioux Falls has launched a Workforce Development Pilot Program to support and explore activities to drive workforce growth and development within the community. The pilot program will provide funding to local entities that are well-positioned to address workforce development and recruitment in Sioux Falls. Interested organizations and businesses can now apply for funding through the program. Application information is available on the City of Sioux Falls website or by contacting the Community Development Department at (605) 367-8180.

As part of the 2015 budget approval process, the City Council included $500,000 to support workforce development efforts within the community. The Community Development Department met with more than 20 community workforce development stakeholders in the fall of 2014 to gauge areas of need and to hear about program ideas to address those need areas. Many businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions provided valuable insight into potential workforce development opportunities. Four primary areas of focus for the program have been identified:

  • Strategic planning and implementation
  • Attracting and recruiting new employees
  • Training and re-employment
  • Educational partnerships

alt_logo1The program will be available to any business, organization, or entity with operations in Sioux Falls. The maximum award amount for a single proposal is $100,000. The minimum award amount is $2,000. Matching funds are not required; however, availability of matching resources, financial or in-kind, may be a factor in the City’s determination of awards.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of City staff members. There is no application deadline, but rather, applications will be considered as they are received, and evaluated on their merits. The City anticipates making its first awards prior to March 1, 2015. It is expected that any awarded funds would be used exclusively for activities occurring in the 2015 calendar year.

For more information on the program, please visit, or call the City’s Community Development Department at 605-367-8180.

For more coverage on the story, click HERE.

FREE community training and workshop event

GROW South Dakota invites community organizations, municipalities, and county government representatives to attend a Community Appeal Workshop on September 10-11, 2014, at the Aberdeen Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.  This free community event is sponsored by The Bush Foundation and Northeast Council of Governments.  To register for this training event please CLICK HERE.

Craig Schroeder, Director of Youth Engagement at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and Milan Wall, Co-Director of Heartland Center for Leadership Development will provide an interactive workshop that focuses on the regional issues of mindset and workforce/people attraction which are a starting point to addressing other key factors affecting our region.

The workshop outline will cover the following topics:

  • Clearly identifying our strongest people attraction assets based on the region’s community capitals framework.
  • Defining the target market that is most interested in what we have to offer.
  • Creating a compelling brand and message that authentically conveys our strongest assets to the target market.
  • Recruiting and training community ambassadors to host people who express interest in visiting or moving to our community or region.
  • Engaging with alumni and potential newcomers, emphasizing our target market, and staying connected with them to determine their hometown needs.
  • Proactively welcoming new residents and inviting them to become involved as active citizens and leaders.

The majority of the workshop will actively engage the participants in working through a series of activities on the above topics. Then building on these activities, participants will engage in the creation of community/regional action plans for recruiting and training community ambassadors. Each of the activities will be conducted with small group dialog using worksheets and group feedback to guide the participants along the path from an awareness of opportunities to action plans with defined next steps to move their work forward.

Schedule of Events:
September 10, 2013 – 1:00 pm-6:00 pm | Community Appeal Workshop (dinner will be served) and Introducttion to Prairie Idea Exchange by Dakotafire Media
September 11, 2013 – 8:00 am-12:00 pm |Community Appeal Workshop (Building Action Plans)

All events will be held at the Ramada Hotel & Convention Center of Aberdeen.  A block of rooms has been reserved for those attendees needing overnight accommodations.  Please mention GROW South Dakota when you are registering to receive the special event rate. For hotel reservations call (605) 225-3600.
If you have additional questions regarding the Community Appeal Workshop, please contact Paula Jensen at GROW South Dakota by email,, or by phone at 605-698-7654 Ext 133.

growSDGROW South Dakota strives to reach rural communities to improve the quality of life through housing, community and economic development.  Historically, these organizations have invested over $50 million in housing development and $54 million in economic development.  For more information about GROW South Dakota’s housing and business development programs and services please visit our website at or call 605-698-7654.

Like GROW South Dakota on Facebook or follow the organization on Twitter.

Funding available for South Dakota nonprofits

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) has teamed up with the Bush Foundation in St. Paul, MN to offer $225,000 in new funding to South Dakota nonprofits in 2014.  Dubbed the Community Innovation Grants, the funding aims to support community problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions.

“The Community Innovation Grants have the power to build significant momentum to empower community-powered problem solving within South Dakota’s borders,” said SDCF President Stephanie Judson.

Accoding to SDCF, the Community Innovation Grants will be awarded in three rounds in amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000.  The first round expires May 31. The second round of applications opens June 1 and will close August 31 with the recipient being announced September 30.  The final round occurs from September 1 to November 30.

Nonprofits of all sizes and with varied missions are invited to apply. Each nonprofit has the opportunity to define its distinct community as a geographic location or as a community built on a common interest or background. Organizations engaged in any stage of the community problem solving process–identifying a need, increasing understanding of an issue, generating ideas or implementing solutions–are encouraged to apply.

“Communities around the region face significant and complex challenges that require innovative solutions,” says Molly Matheson Gruen, Community Innovation Manager at the Bush Foundation. “We want to support and encourage organizations that are using community problem-solving to create innovation. The Bush Foundation plans to build a long-term partnership with the South Dakota Community Foundation to provide grant opportunities to our shared constituents in South Dakota.”

Only non-profit organizations, not individuals, are eligible for the grants, and the projects must be located in South Dakota.  Other criteria include the use of inclusive, collaborative or resourceful processes, implementation and measure of impact.  Examples of qualifying projects offered by SDCF include organizing a series of facilitated meetings to work on the issue of hunger, or employing community engagement training to create an innovative use of available local property.

The SDCF is a non-profit organization which administers a $135 million endowment fund, made up of private gifts from individuals, families and businesses.  It serves donors and non-profits with the goal to promote philanthropy and make South Dakota a better place.  For more information or to apply, visit

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them by encouraging individuals and organizations to think bigger and differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Learn more at