By: Stacy Aesoph, BEDC Director of Workforce Development

When we meet with regional employers and HR professionals, we are looking to find out what challenges they are experiencing, what is working well and what their hiring needs are. From there, we determine how Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) can help, what tools we can provide, and how to direct our efforts for the community.

We developed several workforce tools and programs based on conversations with employers including: Brookings was lacking a one-stop-shop website for community and job information. The site provides a wealth of resources such as housing, job listings, employer information, childcare, schools, and more. is an easy resource for employers to share with prospective and current employees. In addition, employers can post their open jobs for free!

Marketing the community as a place to live and work. One of our community’s goals is to grow the population and help fill current and future job openings. BEDC has taken the lead in marketing Brookings as a top place to live and work. Some results of our efforts include digital marketing that has led to a large volume of traffic on, several stories in local and regional media, billboards, print advertising, job fairs, and much more!

Standard verbiage on Brookings. It is important for employers and community partners to share the same message about Brookings. BEDC developed a paragraph about Brookings that employers can use in job descriptions and include on their company websites.

Infographic on Brookings. A one-page handout that employers can give to potential new employees who are unfamiliar with Brookings. This infographic includes a snapshot of Brookings’ population, education system, accolades, housing, and fun facts.

Beyond Connections. This newcomer program is designed to help new residents network and build relationships with others. The goal of program is to help retain residents in Brookings. Various events continue to be developed as the program grows.

Brookings video. Another tool for employers to share with prospective employees. The new Brookings video will feature interviews with residents talking about why they live and work in Brookings and what they love about the community. Short video clips of the interviews are being shared through social media and are being used in BEDC’s digital marketing efforts. Employers will be able to share the full video on their social media platforms as well as their company websites when completed early next year.

Brookings Area Workforce Conference on August 17. Key note speaker, Chris Rosenlund from Insperity, will discuss employee engagement, generational differences, company culture, competitive pay and benefits, and retention tools. Several sessions will dive deeper into these topics including: housing panel discussion, company culture, recruiting from universities and technical schools, developing an internship or apprenticeship program, and automation. BEDC has also partnered with DisruptHR for the social part of the conference. The workforce conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Swiftel Center and DisruptHR will be held from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at Club 71. Tickets for the conference alone are $50 and tickets for both the conference and DisruptHR are $70. Visit to learn more and purchase tickets.

We continue to research and collaborate with partners to develop additional tools and resources for our regional employers to attract and retain workforce. Please contact me if you would like more information about these resources or to set up a meeting at (605) 697-8103 or

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