Updated website to inform community, attract residents

By: Spencer Thompson, SDSU Collegian

Community members and visitors in Brookings recently gained a new website to consult for information about the town and important resources.

The Brookings Economic Development Corporation hired a local design studio to develop a website they hope will attract prospective residents to the area.

Liveinbrookings.com was launched by the Brookings Economic Development Corporation at the end of 2016 and was developed by Hitch Studio for less than $10,000.

The website was developed to keep graduates in Brookings, spur new families to move to the community and help current residents become more involved with the community.

The website provides information about Brookings as a community, including resources for finding jobs, starting a business, residential options, health care, recreation, events and more about life in the city.

“The website is meant to be to be the first place you should go,” said Stacy Aesoph, director of workforce development for the Brookings Economic Development Corporation. “It’s user-friendly and easy to find what you need.”

Aesoph said the website is relevant for current SDSU students, as well as prospective students who want to learn more about SDSU and Brookings as a whole.

“I go into classrooms and like to see what the students see from the community,” Aesoph said. “This is a great place to be and we want students to know what Brookings has to offer.”

She hopes students find the website useful in learning about recreational activities, culture, events, services and living options.

The job listings posted on the website include different types of positions for a wide variety of career fields and even lists student jobs and internships.

Some of the main attractions Brookings has available to its residents include its downtown businesses, its outdoor recreation areas and seasonal events like the Brookings Farmer’s Market. SDSU contributes to Brookings with its own attractions, like sporting events, art exhibitions and concerts.

Jadyn Vetos, sophomore animal science major, appreciates all Brookings has to offer.

“There’s all sorts of things to do in town and they are relatively close to each other,” he said. “I enjoy living here.”

Brookings has received numerous accolades and awards, many of which are listed on the website. Most recently, it was called the No. 1 best place to live in South Dakota by niche.com and is considered one of the top 100 best places to live in the United States by Livability, a website that rates smaller communities in the U.S.

Livability described the town as, “an ideal community for families, students, young professionals and retirees.”

Aesoph said the community has low unemployment and many opportunities available to its residents for careers and entrepreneurship.

Carrie Kuhl, an SDSU alumna and co-founder of Hitch Studio, started her business in Brookings because she felt there was a need for design services in the community.

“Brookings has been a really great fit for us because the community is so supportive of small businesses,” Kuhl said.

Brookings has made available different programs and options to help start small businesses to its citizens. Among these are an enterprise institute, a small business development center and a makerspace which features a full workshop.

All of the programs and services available in Brookings can be found on liveinbrookings.com.

When planning the website layout, Aesoph said she looked at other award-winning websites for different communities in order to optimize the website.

Aesoph said one of the main goals of the website is to keep it constantly updated. “We don’t want it to be stale, we want it to be useful to people,” she said.

For the future Brookings community, Aesoph hopes she will continue to get feedback on the website and looks forward to new campaigns to attract and inform people about Brookings community.

“Brookings has so much going on, it’s a good thing,” she said. “I hope this site is helpful for students to take a deeper look into the community.”

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