RAPID CITY, S.D. – The basic economic development course “Fuel the Growth – 2022: Advancing Economic Development in Our Communities” is returning to the Black Hills State University-Rapid City after its successful launch in 2021.

Economic development professionals, board members, community leaders, business persons, and elected officials are invited to take part in the course from Sept. 14-16, 2022. This course is a collaborative effort between Black Hills State University and other various entities including the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Black Hills Community Economic Development/Rushmore Region Alliance, West River Foundation, and Black Hills Energy.

 “In its inaugural year, Fuel the Growth provided participants the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of economic development and the tools needed to be successful in their communities,” said Lori Frederick, senior business development representative at the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “It provides economic development professionals, community members, board members, and elected officials the opportunity to learn about economic development in a hands-on learning environment from experienced professionals in the industry.”

The two-and-a-half day training event will be led by economic development experts and will utilize presentations, panel discussions, and case studies to address 10 key topics in economic development including business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, community and real estate development, strategic planning, organizational management, and ethics. In addition to learning from local and regional experts, participants will have an opportunity to engage with and learn from colleagues and other attendees through networking opportunities.

 “Fuel the Growth broadened my understanding of economic development. It taught me not only what economic development is and all it encompasses, but also how sustainable development can be successfully implemented, and provided me with the tools to do so,” said Cayley Schmitt, marketing & administrative coordinator at Spearfish Economic Development Corporation. “Furthermore, the networking provided through this course – in my fellow peers as well as the speakers – made the experience truly worthwhile.”

 Hollie Stalder, executive director of Belle Fourche Development Corporation said, “Fuel the Growth is a well-balanced look at community and economic development for any size community. From the new professional in their economic development role to the seasoned director, this program has something for everyone. The relationships in the network of economic developers across the state are so valuable, and the time together to discuss the important topics facing each community is a huge benefit.”

Online registration for Fuel the Growth - 2022 opens June 1 at The registration fee is $395 per person. Fuel the Growth attendees will have an option to make a hotel reservation with MainStay Suites for September 14 and 15 in Rapid City at a special event rate by calling (605) 719-5151.

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