GROW South Dakota's History
For nearly 50 years GROW South Dakota’s housing, community and economic development programs and services have been serving the needs of local individuals, families, business owners, and entire communities in order to sustain our rural quality of life.
The evolution of GROW South Dakota as a statewide nonprofit was all started in 1966 through the creation of the Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program (NESDCAP) servicing three counties. The community action program approach was a result of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 legislation to battle the war on poverty. Funded by federal, state and local resources the agency opened its doors in Sisseton, South Dakota, to provide a means to assist low-income individuals and families become more self-reliant and improve daily living. NESDCAP’s first expansion in 1974 added service to seven counties and seven more counties were new in 2001 bringing the expanded service area to 17 counties in northeast South Dakota.
The Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation (NESDEC) was established in 1978 through NESDCAP’s vision to stimulate small business ownership, business development, and job creation in low-income and rural communities of a 10 county service area. As inquiries for these innovative NESDEC business development programs and services increased from adjacent counties, the service area was expanded to serve a total of 22 counties in 1987.
Visible economic impacts in the region and the continual success of expanding agency services and the revolving loan fund created a demand for statewide services. As a result, Grow South Dakota was established in 2007 to service all 66 counties in South Dakota.
In 2012, NESDCAP, NESDEC, and Grow South Dakota unified their three core initiatives of housing, community and economic development, into the now recognized brand of GROW South Dakota. Although NESDCAP, NESDEC and Grow South Dakota continue to operate as separate legal entities, with varying service areas, the same great care is provided to the residents and communities we serve.
The realized potential of our rural neighbors and communities is the driving force that guides GROW South Dakota’s strategic vision toward a bold future filled with growing possibilities that will change how others view rural. In 2016, GROW South Dakota will celebrate 50 years of success and expansion that has led the agency to this moment where we are able to assist over 10,000 clients annually and where we can realize the future with great expectation.