Watertown Development announces new director of business development

WATERTOWN, S.D. —  Watertown Development Company (WDC) has hired Molly Heaton as its Director of Business Development.

 

Heaton brings with her over 12 years of Human Resource experience, specifically in the manufacturing industry. Her main duties will be to support and execute programs and activities related to recruitment of new businesses and expansion of current business in the WDC service area. She will also be responsible for the administration of current workforce development programs and development of new programs and initiatives to meet the area’s workforce needs.

 

“Being in HR and supporting management teams, I’ve learned there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to day-to-day business strains,” says Heaton. “With this, I’m looking forward to all of the out-of-the-box ideas to build and enhance our workforce while promoting city development.”

 

An advocate for Watertown’s workforce, Heaton has been an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 2014 and the Watertown Workforce Advisory Council (WWAC) since its inception in 2015, serving as its Vice Chair since January 2022. She will now serve as the administrator of the WWAC in her new role at WDC.

 

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to showcase my experiences from working in manufacturing while converting my role with the Workforce Advisory Council to support local businesses in their own growth and development,” Heaton continued. “I’m looking forward to being a part of Watertown’s progress.”

 

In her free time, Heaton volunteers with Junior Achievement of South Dakota, teaching at Watertown High School and McKinley Elementary School. She and her husband also stay busy supporting their two daughters during competitive cheer season and riding their Harleys in the summer.

 

About Watertown Development Company

The Watertown Development Company (WDC) is a private, non-profit economic development company funded by private and public sector stakeholders. The WDC owns and operates buildings, land, and development areas for the economic benefit of the community. Since its establishment in 1947, its efforts have generated substantial impacts and benefits for many decades. The WDC has led strategies and been responsible for the creation of jobs and overall economic opportunity through programs designed to promote and increase the commercial, financial, and economic vitality of the Watertown and its citizens.

Watertown Development Company Unveils New Brand Identity

WATERTOWN, S.D.– Watertown Development Company (WDC) is proud to share the new brand identity that will represent the 75-year-old organization moving into the future. WDC’s new image, which features a unique icon and updated color palette, focuses on the organization’s traditional values and efforts with its emphasis on business innovation, trust, and progress.

 

“With the organization’s 75th anniversary approaching, we felt it was the perfect time to reimagine WDC’s brand,” said Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director of the Watertown Development Company. “This new branding gives the organization a fresh visual approach, while maintaining the image of integrity and respect WDC has built since its founding in 1947.”

 

WDC staff worked closely with the marketing firm Simpleview, the same company that also worked with Visit Watertown, Watertown Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Watertown, to develop and finalize the new design. The new logo will be rolled out on all marketing materials after being presented at the 2022 WDC Annual Investor Meeting on October 20, 2022.

 

A new website for the organization is also underway and is expected to be completed in early 2023.

Watertown Workforce Advisory Council Announces 2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Awards

WATERTOWN, S.D.– The Watertown Workforce Advisory council kicked off South Dakota’s Manufacturing Week by announcing the winners of the first Excellence in Manufacturing Awards to manufacturing employees in seven categories for outstanding work in their field. Those categories included machine operators, material handlers, painters and prep, production support, welders, working leads and supervisors, and all other production roles.

 

Nominated by fellow peers and selected by members of the Manufacturing Week Committee, the 2022 award recipients are Brandon Saeger from Macksteel Warehouse, Shawn Bradberry from Terex Utilities, Neil Warne from ESCO Manufacturing, Jeremy Raap from Terex Utilities, David Veflin from Terex Utilities, Al Young from Benchmark Foam, and Ian Madsen from Terex Utilities.

 

In addition to a certificate of recognition, each recipient was awarded $100 in Chamber Bucks and entered into a drawing for the grand prize. Ian Madsen from Terex Utilities was the proud winner of The Kettle, a smokeless fire pit manufactured and donated by Macksteel.

 

“We want to recognize all manufacturing employees, and thank them for the work that they do to keep our economy growing,” said Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director of the Watertown Development Company. “Congratulations to the award winners, whose efforts every day represent a commitment to excellence by both the employees and the employers they represent.”

 

South Dakota Manufacturing Week begins the week prior to the first Friday in October. This week-long celebration aims to honor the contributions of the manufacturing sector by recognizing and sharing information about the work and achievements the sector has done in the last year and its impact on South Dakota’s economy.

Department of Commerce Invests $1.1M for Infrastructure Improvements to Establish Calvin Park

WATERTOWN, S.D. – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced in a press release Tuesday that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.1 million grant to the City of Watertown, South Dakota, for construction, water, and roadway infrastructure improvements in Calvin Industrial Park.

 

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts of the Watertown Development Company (WDC) and First District Association of Local Governments (FDALG). The infrastructure improvements to the park will support the WDC’s mission by creating new opportunities for businesses to establish and grow, increase the property tax base for the city, and build the community’s workforce.

 

“The WDC is excited to continue its development plans within Calvin Park,” said Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director of the WDC. “This investment in Watertown by the EDA will help us welcome new and expanding business into the park and increase economic opportunity throughout our region.”

 

The EDA investment will be matched with $1.1 million in funds from the WDC and is expected to create more than 70 jobs and generate over $4.5 million in private investment, according to estimates.

 

“President Biden is committed to ensuring that our communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment in infrastructure will support business development in Watertown, creating jobs and providing economic resilience.”

 

ABOUT WATERTOWN DEVELOPMENT COMPANY 

The Watertown Development Company (WDC) is a private, non-profit economic development company funded by private and public sector stakeholders. The WDC owns and operates buildings, land, and development areas for the economic benefit of the community. Since its establishment in 1947, its efforts have generated substantial impacts and benefits for many decades. The WDC has led strategies and been responsible for the creation of jobs and overall economic opportunity through programs designed to promote and increase the commercial, financial, and economic vitality of Watertown and its citizens.

 

ABOUT THE U.S. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

 

The original article can be found here: https://eda.gov/news/press-releases/2022/09/27/watertown-sd.htm 

Watertown Development Company Launches Co.Starters Program for Enterpreneurs

WATERTOWN, SD, SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 — Watertown Development Company will soon offer CO.STARTERS Core, a national cohort-based accelerator program, aimed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action.

 

This 10-session program is designed to help ideas gain momentum. The one requirement is that applicants have a concept or idea they are ready to test and are willing to study, shape, and fine-tune in a supportive, collaborative, and welcoming environment.

 

Registration fees will be waived for the first two cohorts thanks to a grant from the Small Business Administration and a partnership between Startup Sioux Falls and Dakota Resources.  Sessions will be facilitated by the Watertown Development Company staff members Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director, and Amanda Culhane, Marketing Specialist. Participants will hear from guest speakers including specialists and professionals from the Watertown area.

 

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to offer this resource to the area’s aspiring entrepreneurs and others who might be in business already but want to grow or innovate,” said Kakacek. “The curriculum looks at entrepreneurship in a fresh, accessible way and encourages mentorship and peer-to-peer learning.”

 

Individuals interested in the program can apply now. The application period will close on September 30, 2022. Participants will be notified the week of October 10 with the ten-session program beginning November 1. Sessions will take place every other Tuesday thereafter from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. For more information and to apply, visit https://wdcsd.com/costarters/.

 

If you are part of the business or educational community and would be interested in getting involved as a mentor, guest speaker, facilitator, or volunteer, please reach out to Amanda Culhane at amanda@wdcsd.com or 605-884-0340.

 

About Watertown Development Company

The Watertown Development Company (WDC) is a private, non-profit economic development company funded by private and public sector stakeholders. The WDC owns and operates buildings, land, and development areas for the economic benefit of the community. Since its establishment in 1947, its efforts have generated substantial impacts and benefits for many decades. The WDC has led strategies and been responsible for the creation of jobs and overall economic opportunity through programs designed to promote and increase the commercial, financial, and economic vitality of the Watertown and its citizens.