Stand Out or Perish!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

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Stand Out or Perish!!


It’s interesting to read articles and attend workshops.  Times have changed for small rural communities because there are groups out there, like Dakota Resources, or Northwestern’s Advantage that are working with rural.  When I first started this position, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) seemed all about “big business” back in the day.  Since that time, they have become aware that there is a great deal of business to be done rurally, and our communities will die if they do not support them.  It’s been great for me the past several years to see them tweaking the workshops and presentations to help rural areas.  We do need to standout or perish.


I have learned as director that we cannot be a leader by playing “follow the leader.”  I’m not sure South Dakota likes playing follow the leader anyway.  This applies to communities too; they are dying because of the people.  One speaker shared that our rural citizens are not adaptable, do not accept change and have a lack of creativity.  Also did you know that under the age of 30 years old, three years is the average length of employment? That’s not very promising for our workforce.  Over 30 years of age, 4.5 years is the length of employment.  Deuel County has more jobs than it has people to work them. DADi has begun to list job availability on Facebook and on our website.


As for our communities, what can we do that is radically different?  We can be hungry for change. If we invoke change, will those changes be crisis driven or will we be driving them.  In other words are we going to be “pro-active” or “re-active”?  There is a huge difference in the two. Did you know that Kodak turned down the “digital camera”?  As of 2019 they were bankrupt. They were not willing to make the investment or to change.  Same with Zerox versus IBM.  IBM changed but Zerox got left in the dust.


I realize we are not big companies.  We also do not want to die.  Since Covid and the riots, people have been on the move to South Dakota. This is a plus for South Dakota. So, with that, we need to be hungry for change and stop reminiscing over what once was.  I know that our small community’s “community clubs” and “Chambers of Commerce” are working to make things happen in our communities as well.  They’re trying to make our communities vibrant, new and different.  Let’s collaborate, let’s support the effort. Let’s be welcoming, willing to change, and find ways to improve our communities and be The Leaders.


Dana Morris from Goodwin’s Lodge and Music Hall will be briefly sharing at DADi’s monthly meeting on April 7th at the 4-H Extension Building at 5:30pm.  We will be starting promptly; the public and members are always welcome. Also be sure to check our website for the part-time job description for an Executive Director for DADi.

Category: The Directors Corner, News, County Area News

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