Siouxland leaders attend 16th Tri-State Governors’ Conference
Governors from Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska gathered at Dakota Dunes Monday afternoon for the 16th annual Tri-State Governors’ Conference.
Many of the discussions were focused on how to recruit skilled labors, ethanol production, and flood preparedness for the area.
“Like hearing the same message about, this is what we think as a region we need to move forward and how can all of us help to do that. I mean this is a great place to live,” said Barbara Sloniker, the Executive Vice President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
Governer Noem, Reynolds, and Ricketts came together to hear the issues many Siouxlanders are facing. One of those issues is helping grow the ethanol industry. It is a $12 billion impact in the tri-state region.
“We want to continue to support ethanol and it requires all of us to helping educate our friends, family, and neighbors in regards to what ethanol means,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
Siouxland Ethanol presented its E-30 project. Ricketts is a part of the project, but he hopes Noem and Reynolds will consider pushing for more studies.
“It will be a year-old project that shows how E-30 can be used in regular vehicles on the road today with EPA approval of the demonstration project and university back scientific research,” said Pam Miller, Siouxland Ethanol Board Chair member.
But to continue that kind of economic growth, all of the tri-state governors agree focusing on the skilled labor force is a key issue for the region that starts with students.
“Everybody could use something that involves their local businesses so that young people can see what is available in their community and what do you have to do to take those jobs,” said Pete Ricketts Nebraska’s governor.
The Dakota Valley school district, South Sioux City, and Sioux City are wanting to partner together to help all students be a part of the career academy.
“Offer career and technical education to our students in the chance for three of us to partner with all the business in the tri-state area to make it a streamlined process so they’re not dealing with three different school districts,” said Jerry Rasmussen, the Superintendent of Dakota Valley school district.
The district superintendents said the governs are interested in working with them to make it happen across state lines.
“Our business is helping our educators understand what the workforce needs of today and tomorrow are, and it has been a phenomenal collaboration,” said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.
Another major topic that was discussed was this year’s flooding. Many businesses and farmland sits along the Missouri River and there has been a large amount of damage throughout the area. The governers shared that they have been working with the Corps of Engineers to help find a solution.