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Rapid City edged out 20 other cities to bring battery manufacturing to the Black Hills

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -500 acres of land on the outskirts of Rapid City will be turned into a multi-million dollar factory, there batteries for data centers and the 5G telecom market will be produced.

Economic Development Director for Elevate Rapid City, Matt Brunner says Rapid City beat out 20 other cities to bring Æsir Technologies to the Black Hills, “Bozeman, Montana; Charlotte, North Carolina; Sioux Falls; and Wichita, Kansas; San Antonio, Texas; and Tucson, Arizona.”

Brunner worked directly with Æsir to sell them on western South Dakota’s greatest asset, the people, “opportunity for a very hardworking and loyal workforce that we have already established, and they realize and see how many people are starting to come to the Black Hills and the western region, so they were excited about not only what the workforce looks like today, but more importantly what it looks like in two-three years, Brunner said.

Æsir will be the first to build in the new Rushmore Industrial complex, and could bring more than 1,000 jobs, 400 of those in the first five years.

“Manufacturing is one of the bigger pieces that drive an economic engine for a city and Rapid City doesn’t have a lot, it has some really key impactful ones and this will continue to add to that manufacturing base that we at Elevate are trying to build,” Brunner said.

One challenge the new factory could face, is the nation-wide worker shortage, Brunner says they have thought that through, “what is exciting is we do have below average labor participation so we can draw from that pool right there, School of Mines is a huge asset for a number of different factors, the first being the graduates coming out of the school of mines, that’s a great opportunity for them to stay here.”

Brunner adds, Elevate Rapid City wants to work with Pine Ridge and Rosebud to help fill positions

Æsir plans to open in the next 18 to 24 months. And as for as what’s next for Elevate Rapid City? Brunner says they have about 70 projects in the works.

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