...the forward-thinking business leader should be preparing today for tomorrow's workforce.
This month the Chamber is hosting a gathering of business leaders to examine the business case for implementing diversity, equity and inclusion programming into your workplaces. The demographics in our schools are different from the current demographics in our companies; the forward-thinking business leader should be preparing today for tomorrow's workforce. That means identifying and, where necessary, addressing issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our local economy benefits from the diversification of industries and the growth of businesses large and small. The same is true for our people. By welcoming people with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives into your workplace, you can build a stronger business and contribute to a stronger community.
At the heart of Forward Sioux Falls 2021, is a vision of improving our community for the benefit of all - and it is achieved through collaboration. We attract business, enhance job growth and improve quality of life. A substantial portion of our work is also centered around education, workforce development and retention. In addition, the steps being taken by First PREMIER Bank, PREMIER Bankcard, the State and anticipated private contributors, to fund the Freedom Scholarship (a needs-based scholarship fund) will make a tremendous difference in making high quality college education within the State available to folks from all income levels.
The past year has hit some industries much harder than others, and recovery will take longer for those industries. The travel and tourism industry is one of those that has really struggled through 2020. Unless you work directly in the hospitality industry, you might not realize how important visitors are to the economy of our region. Whether they travel here for business, to attend a sports tournament or as a stop on a vacation, the dollars spent by out-of-town guests on hotels, restaurants and shopping will circulate through our economy and indirectly impacts all of us. Led by Teri Schmidt, a tireless cheerleader for Sioux Falls, the Experience Sioux Falls team is developing and implementing strategies to support our local hospitality businesses and rebuild our visitor industry.
As we continue to get more and more folks vaccinated throughout the state and the country, it is the hope that many of the various tourism events, conventions and attractions we have hosted will return. In addition, the Experience Sioux Falls team is thinking about conventions and tourism differently for the post-COVID world. With the nature of South Dakota and particularly Sioux Falls, there may be new and different opportunities to attract tourism business that was not available previously. By being welcoming and accommodating to these events and their visitors, we can all do our part to lift back up the tourism industry and continue to show off the beauty of our community