Janklow: Labor force is major selling point by David Lias In an exclusive phone interview with the Plain Talk Monday Gov. Bill Janklow expressed regret that his busy schedule kept him from traveling to Vermillion Monday to announce that Phase 2 will be expanding here.
"This is a company that is going to pay better wages than Gateway did," Janklow said. "I wish I could be in Vermillion today, but I've got a ton of meetings today. We're dealing with how to handle any potential terrorists threat in the state, and the special session begins tomorrow (Tuesday)."
In a prepared statement, Janklow described Phase 2 as "exactly the type of company we were hoping to attract to Vermillion. This company will fill the void left by Gateway and will offer job opportunities to those Gateway employees."
Training of new employees will begin as early as this week, Janklow said.
"Training was a huge issue for Phase 2 and Vermillion really didn't have adequate space to set up training terminals," he said. "So the state and city pulled together to figure out a training location."
Phase 2 employees will travel to North Sioux City for specialized training.
"It's really a unique situation," Janklow said. "The Vermillion Development Company is leasing space in an old elementary school in North Sioux City. McLeod USA went in and set up temporary modem access and the state is loaning computer equipment and technical support."
"We certainly thank Gov. Janklow and his GOED staff for making sure Phase 2 got here," John Paulson, president of the Vermillion Development Company, said. "We thank them certainly for their proactive leadership for making positive things happen for the state of South Dakota."
Paulson also lauded Mayor Roger Kozak, the Vermillion City Council, the Clay County Commission, Vermillion businesses and USD President James Abbott.
Also playing key roles in helping locate the new industry here, Paulson said, are Craig Atkins, executive director of the Vermillion Development Company, Jackie Benjamin, director of the One Stop Career Center, and Lisa Ketchum and Rick Hart of Gateway.
"Vermillion has a lot to look forward to in becoming one of South Dakota's major communities," Paulson said. "We are home of The University of South Dakota, the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge, and now a very
very partner with Phase 2 � the perfect company for what the Wall Street Journal has said is the perfect town to live in."
Phase 2 and Vermillion are a perfect match for each other, Janklow said in a phone conversation earlier with the Plain Talk.
"What we were able to sell, and what they (Phase 2) were interested in was a stable labor force," the governor said. "Let's face it � you can't get ahead if you don't have a job, and down in Vermillion, it's important for people, especially those going to USD, to have a job so they can get ahead."