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Dakota Wesleyan economics program publishes report on local outlook

Economics often play on an international stage, but one program at Dakota Wesleyan wants to zoom into the local. Namely – the situation in Mitchell.

The first-of-its-kind local report was compiled by DWU students in the principals of macroeconomics class, and it was first published this month.

The report was overseen by business and economics professor Tracy Dice.

“The value of having it be so local is that we can take this to our city council or the economic development and chamber of commerce and say, 'what can we look at here specifically that will make Mitchell better?'” Dice said. "And what do you need from us that can help make Mitchell be more successful and start growing more?”

Dice said there’s no plan to stop this report after its first go.

“We’re going to hopefully keep this going every semester," Dice said. "In the fall with microeconomics, we can look more at industry specifics, so maybe look at housing in more detail or which industries are really bringing money into Mitchell. What type of things do we need to maybe increase our population? What is Yankton doing so much better than we are?”

One student, freshman accounting major Quinton Walls, said it was a great opportunity to learn the business firsthand.

“The whole thing is going to be huge when it comes to classes moving forward," Walls said. "The skills I learned, especially with Excel and going through and putting in the data we collected, I think we probably had over five- or six-hundred data points that I had to enter. We had some from 2008 all the way to 2022.”

The final report is available online.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture