DEADWOOD – A recent University of South Dakota graduate from Pierre has been named the new executive director of the Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation (DLEDC).
Jace Jerome took up his new role on September 13 and his office will be located at Lead City Hall.
âRight now it’s a really exciting time for Deadwood, Lead, and all of western South Dakota as well,â Jerome said. âWe have a lot of growth going on here.â
For four years, JÃ©rÃ´me has been a business consultant.
âThree years ago it was with start-up biotech companies,â he said. âThen last year we worked with early stage research technologies, so it would be patents, doctoral researchers, and then we helped them with business developmentâ¦ in terms of high tech projects and really exciting going, the Sanford Labs ticked that box for me. Not only with whatever can happen in the lab, but also bringing in new people, potential spinoff companies that will come out of it and hopefully stay in South Dakota. “
DLDC board chairman Casey Derflinger explained why the organization believes Jerome is the best fit for the job.
âJace is a very lively and energetic young man who wants to get involved in communities immediately,â said Derflinger. âThis is one of the qualities we were looking for in this position. For his age, he has a lot of experience which will also help him in this work. He also knows our communities.
JÃ©rÃ´me said he had experienced one of the areas he sees as having great potential for growth.
âHonestly, number one right now is housing,â he said. âAffordable housing, of course. The current housing market has poured in a lot. It’s just extremely overpriced and a little ironic that I come and it’s sort of the number one goal right now and I literally couldn’t find a place to live right away.
Derflinger said Jerome’s responsibilities include creating jobs, retaining and expanding existing businesses, as well as attracting new businesses and housing the workforce.
“In addition, Jace will oversee the overall management of DLEDC and our revolving loan fund, under the direction of the DLEDC board of directors,” said Derflinger.
JÃ©rÃ´me said that the DLEDC is currently moving forward with an updated housing study to address the aforementioned needs.
“Land that we can develop, current properties that need to be renovated, renovated, potential buildings,” he added. âThe upper floors of buildings. What can we do with these? “
Jerome said building relationships and gathering as much information as possible from people who have been in the area for a number of years is also critical to the success of his start-up in moving initiatives forward. DLDC.
âTrying to add some creative thinking about what Lead-Deadwood is in five, 10 years? How does that change with the arrival of the laboratory, âJÃ©rÃ´me said.
Jerome was born and raised in Pierre and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at SHU. He believes the beauty of the Black Hills makes it attractive for a business boom.
“It’s the only part of the state I always saw myself coming back to,” he said. âI love the outdoors. I think it’s absolutely beautiful here. It offers activities even during winters to go out and ski, snowboard, do different hiking activities.
JÃ©rÃ´me said the growing number of people relocating to the state is translating into an increase in the workforce.
âThe trends want this to continue,â he said. âWe are seeing a ton of growth in tourism. Many people consider this to be the next place to live for them. “
Jerome said that a key factor moving forward is already something he has witnessed.
âI see a lot of people who are really passionate about Deadwood and the lead zone and honestly it’s very unique, but also really cool to work with these kinds of people,â Jerome said.
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