ABERDEEN, S.D. – A partnership involving Northern State University, the Aberdeen Development Corporation and the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) aims to bring new technology—and new jobs—to northeast South Dakota.
CORI is a nonprofit organization that partners with rural leaders across the country to build digital economies in rural America. CORI recently announced the first round of American Connection Communities, including Aberdeen, which will benefit from its Rural Innovation Initiative.
“CORI engaged Aberdeen and Northern in this process, identifying strategies to create more and new digital jobs and tech startups in the Aberdeen area,” said Dr. Hannah Walters, NSU Assistant Professor of Marketing.
Walters also indicated that key elements of that strategy are new and updated curriculum, creating space for tech entrepreneurs to launch their ideas, education to prepare tech workers, and connecting entrepreneurs and workers to grow businesses, the economy, and career opportunities in Aberdeen and the region.
“Aberdeen has two strong assets in place,” Walters said, “a strong entrepreneurial spirit and long history of entrepreneurial success and broadband availability with additional access planned.”
She added, “Our strategy is focused on preparing students for the future of work and serving the community at large.”
Mike Bockorny, Chief Executive Officer of Aberdeen Development Corporation, said the Innovation Center will be a regional resource intended to benefit all in northeast South Dakota.
“This will be accomplished by a focused marketing effort, engaging partners and professors,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to have ideas turn into businesses. These businesses then create great paying jobs, which in turn helps everyone!”
Bockorny said officials are in the process of applying for two additional grants for the project that would really help kick the project off in a big way.
“We have been searching for an avenue to diversify the Aberdeen economy by opening a door to a new category of industry,” he said. “With the help of CORI, we now have a plan on how to introduce a digital ecosystem and entrepreneurship into Aberdeen, which will spread across all of northeast South Dakota. We are excited about what this will mean for the future economy in our region!”
About Aberdeen Development Corporation
The Aberdeen Development Corporation is a private nonprofit corporation with the mission to advance Aberdeen and the Northeast South Dakota Region for all. Business retention, expansion and job growth are critical for creating a vibrant and thriving community. We leverage resources to make Aberdeen the South Dakota choice for people and businesses. Our primary areas of focus are Business Development, Business Expansion and Business Retention.
About Northern State University
Northern State University is a student-centered institution that provides an outstanding educational experience, preparing students through the liberal arts and professional education for their future endeavors. A regional university, Northern offers rigorous academics; diverse civic, social and cultural opportunities; and a commitment to building an inclusive environment for all points of view. Northern also offers a broad-based athletics program, sponsoring 15 NCAA Division II intercollegiate varsity sports that compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). The university strives to enrich the community through partnerships such as its Educational Impact Campaign, which opened a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; new athletic and recreation fields; and an on-campus regional sports complex. With the $55 million campaign, NSU has been the recipient of more than $150 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.