Black Hills State University and Black Hills Knowledge Network and announce plan to enhance local economic expertise, hire project director economist

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, October 15, 2015/Categories: 2015

The Black Hills Knowledge Network and Black Hills State University unveiled plans recently to recruit and hire a professional economist to serve as the project director of the Black Hills Knowledge Network and as a member of the faculty at Black Hills State University.

"Currently, our region suffers from a lack of professional economic analysis," says Eric Abrahamson, project director for the Black Hills Knowledge Network. "Economic growth is very slow and we do not have a local expert who can help analyze the challenges we face."

Abrahamson noted that when local governments, nonprofits or businesses go looking for economic expertise, they frequently hire consultants from outside the region who lack a deep understanding of the area. "Once these consultants deliver their reports, they aren&rsquot available to the community if there are questions or if the situation changes."

With the economist on board, the Black Hills Knowledge Network plans to expand its nonprofit economic consulting service to meet the needs of local governments, nonprofits and businesses.

"By recruiting a highly skilled professional economist, we hope to significantly enhance local expertise," says Priscilla Romkema, Dean of the College of Business and Natural Sciences at BHSU. "We are also excited to have this individual join our faculty and contribute to the growth and development of the internationally-accredited School of Business."

Romkema says the economist will be a member of the Department of Economics at BHSU and will teach three courses a year.

A number of institutions and businesses have pledged to provide support to help fund the position over the next three years. They include Black Hills Community Bank, the Bush Foundation, the City of Rapid City, Dacotah Bank, Golden West, Regional Health, Security First Bank, and West River Electric.

The Black Hills Knowledge Network and BHSU will to post the position description and begin accepting applications in November. For more information, contact Dr. Priscilla Romkema at (605) 642-6341.


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