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A passion for economics and the future drives new Economic Development Director


PIERRE, SD (KELO-AM) When the position opened for a new director of the Belle Fourche Economic Development Corporation, Greg Krajewski knew it was his chance to really sink his teeth into his long-time passion. But one of the main reasons he applied—his eight-year-old son, Daniel.

 “When I think about Daniel’s future and where I would like him to be when he graduates, I want him somewhere close to home,” Krajewski said. “After graduation, a lot of kids move away, finding jobs elsewhere. My hope is to help grow and establish a community where instead of kids leaving, we have kids flocking here for jobs.”

 That’s why he fully supports Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s initiatives to expand and improve workforce development in South Dakota. Whether the job creation is in energy, firearms, healthcare or manufacturing, Krajewski sees Belle Fourche as a hub for entrepreneurs and professionals alike. Belle Fourche is open for business.

 After traveling the world while enlisted in the Air Force, Krajewski landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in 1987, where he met his wife, Lesa, a native to the area. From there, Krajewski pursued a degree in psychology with a minor in economics at Black Hills State University in Spearfish. That’s where his passion for economic development began.

 “I’ve always had an interest in what makes a community tick and how economies grow,” he said. “During my time in the South Dakota National Guard I was trained in teamwork, managing people and listening. That only furthered my interest in economics.”

 Krajewski says there are a lot of good things that set South Dakota apart from other states. Most importantly are South Dakota’s commitment to economic development, common goals and a strong partnership between city and state leadership. All qualities, he says, are exemplified by Gov. Daugaard.

  “Thanks to the support of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Belle Fourche can continue to sell our community and South Dakota as a whole, to companies looking to expand, for what it really is—a great state to do business in,” said Krajewski. “We are seeing growth because of that support. Our vision, our goals, they all align. And that’s important. It means our partnership is working.”  Krajewski started his new job in Belle Fourche on Jan. 1.