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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) gave an official salute to a successful year of growth during its annual conference on Thursday. During the event, Governor Kristi Noem announced two major award winners: Belle Fourche as the Community of the Year and Andrew Nilges as the recipient of the Excellence in Economic Development Award.
“South Dakota has shown America these past two years that the right decisions can have a big impact on a small state. In that time, we have led the nation in home construction growth per capita as well as personal income growth for individuals and families. We also rose to the top five in the nation in GDP growth,” said Governor Noem. “It was an honor today to celebrate the individuals and communities who have been helping us raise the bar to build the strongest economy in America.”
The Community of the Year award honors a community that has made strides in economic development, added jobs, and invested in the quality of life for its residents. In the past year, Belle Fourche has expanded its rail park from 27 cars to 90 cars. They also successfully brought Albany Farms, a ramen noodle manufacturing company, into town from Los Angeles, California. The company is filling an empty spot in its industrial park, with plans to hire 500 new workers. IDIC Specialty Drilling Chemicals LLC also opened its second operation in Belle Fourche and plans to hire approximately 40 employees.
The Excellence in Economic Development award recognizes an individual who has excelled in the economic development arena over the past year. North Sioux City has some amazing opportunities happening in their community, and Andrew Nilges has been instrumental in the success of these projects.
He has been a key leader in economic growth in North Sioux City, leading the community to create a vast new industrial park that will also include a significant expansion of workforce housing in the area. He has worked alongside GOED on several business expansions in the past year and has strengthened the partnership between local, state, and federal agencies to further the economic development goals of his community.