From Rapid City to Sioux Falls: The State Department's Impact on South Dakota

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Rock formations with the words "State4States" and "South Dakota"
#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of South Dakota

From Rapid City to Sioux Falls: The State Department's Impact on South Dakota

On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Mount Rushmore State” of South Dakota through exchange programs and economic investment.

First, the State Department has a positive impact on South Dakotans through international exchange programs. Educational and professional exchange programs foster our people-to-people relationships and build the capacity of Americans and international counterparts alike. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) brings international visitors to the United States on a variety of programs. In 2018, South Dakota hosted over 1,400 foreign physicians, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs, and others as part of ECA’s work and study-based Exchange Visitor Program, and over 2,000 international higher education students chose South Dakota as their study abroad destination. ECA also sends Americans abroad for enriching programs in other countries. In the same year, 18 South Dakota residents traveled overseas as part of the Department’s educational and cultural exchange funded programs, and three South Dakota students received Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships, awarded to students of limited financial means. Exchange programs bring people together, broadening perspectives, building bridges, and ultimately enhancing our relationships for the better.

Second, the State Department, in partnership with agencies across the federal government, creates jobs for South Dakotan workers by opening markets and eliminating trade barriers overseas, as well as by attracting foreign direct investment to the United States. In 2018, South Dakota exported $1.4 billion in goods, and as of 2016, South Dakota goods exports supported approximately 17,000 jobs. Foreign direct investment into South Dakota supported an additional 12,100 jobs in 2016.

Finally, the University of South Dakota (USD) and the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya in Peru are working together to develop new courses taught by USD faulty in Latin America and offered to smaller campuses in the South Dakota Board of Regents system. This exciting partnership is part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, the public-private sector collaboration that supports new higher education partnerships between the United States and countries throughout the Americas. The Innovation Fund fuels new higher education partnerships, increases academic exchanges, provides critical access training programs, and builds bridges of opportunities.

From Rapid City to Sioux Falls, the State Department benefits South Dakotans through broad, far-reaching exchange programs and through economic investment, creating jobs and bringing opportunities to South Dakota communities.

Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.

Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.

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