Thursday, March 8, 2018

Advantage South Dakota recently awarded a $1,500 grant to Webster Area Development Corporation for technology and equipment improvements.

“This grant improves Webster Area Development Corporation’s ability to meet the needs of businesses, community groups, and individuals seeking an off-site space for training, board meetings, interviews, and working remotely in the Business Center conference room,” said Melissa Waldner, Executive Director of Webster Area Development Corporation (WADC).

Along with the grant comes the opportunity to live stream Power Hour presentations from Aberdeen. These 60-minute learning opportunities have featured a wide range of topics like business planning, marketing, financials, human resources, professionalism and more since the Power Hour program began in January 2017.

“Power Hours give our current business professionals and future entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn important information and network with others,” said Jill Vinning, Director of Training and Educational Programs at Aberdeen Development Corporation.

WADC hosted its first Power Hour, “Expand Your Workforce” on February 28 with eight attendees from across the Day County area. Representing Tiffany Langer, a representative of The Connection and South Dakota Retailers Association, provided special insight and answered questions.

First Power Hour - Feb. 28, 2018

Upcoming opportunities are “How to Create a Business Plan” on March 14 and “Common Online Marketing Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)” on March 28. View Calendar >

WADC began transforming the former vocational center into the Business Center after purchasing the large vacant building in June 2011. The initial renovation involved an office space, lobby, restroom, and conference room. WADC was grateful to have many funding partners and volunteers to make this possible. View Photos >

By 2012, WADC’s first tenant, GROW South Dakota, was settled into the office, and the American Legion Post 40 baseball team was thrilled to have an indoor batting area. A few cold storage renters helped with the utility bills.

In 2016, WADC renovated a portion of the building to house the field office for Big Stone South to Ellendale (BSSE) transmission line construction project. By then, the Legion baseball team was ready to build a new indoor batting facility at Bob Wiley Baseball Complex.

Last year, WADC collaborated with Webster Area School, Waubay School, and several industry partners to expand career and technical education at the Business Center. We also renovated a studio and office space for Tailfeather Photography.

Earlier in February, Webster Area Chamber of Commerce moved in. This organization now operates out of the office space formerly held by GROW South Dakota, which moved to Main Street last summer when a second staff member was hired.

The new equipment was installed in the conference room in February as well, thanks to the regional partnership with Advantage South Dakota.

“WADC is proud to be a part of Advantage South Dakota and we are grateful to NorthWestern Energy and all of the communities for being partners in this network,” Waldner said.

“We get together quarterly to learn from each other and discuss ways we can work together,” Waldner added. “Our group recognized training as a need in our communities.”

Advantage South Dakota was formed in 2010 by NorthWestern Energy and a group of economic development organizations in the James River Valley.  Its goal is to enhance the economic vitality of the region through collaboration and promotion of positive outcomes that can be realized by relocating and/or expanding in this area.

Current partners include Webster/Day County, Yankton, Wagner, Redfield, Mitchell, Milbank/Grant County, Madison, Huron, Freeman, DeSmet, Chamberlain, and Aberdeen.

To learn more about upcoming Power Hours, the conference room or Advantage South Dakota, contact Melissa Waldner, WADC’s Executive Director, call 605-345-3159, email, or visit Room 110 in the Day County Courthouse.