There was a community celebration in Brookings today to celebrate the strength of the citys economy.
Two of America's largest companies are responsible for that growth and both say what they've done in Brookings in just the beginning.
This story begins back in 1971 when 3M opened a 250,000 square foot facilty in Brookings.
"Today we are 660,000 square feet. We have 11-hundred employees." Jim Fay is the manager of that 3M facility.... which now produces more health care products than any other 3M facility in the world.; making everything from medical tape to surgical dressings and drapes. "The products we make allow people to have better healthcare outcomes and make lives better."
In the last two years, 3M has added 100 jobs due in part to a continuing agreement to make medical supplies sold at Walmart under the "Nexcare" brand. "It's a tremendous opportunity for us to bring jobs back to the U.S." Matt Armiger is with Walmart. Two years ago the company made a 10 year commitment to sell products that promote American jobs. One of their big partners in that commitment is 3M.
And just as 3M has boosted the Brookings economy for 46 years....Walmart has operared a store in the city for 27 years. "It brings good paying jobs. It brings opportunities to grow people's careers. It's not uncommon for someone to start pushing carts and five years later be a store manager."
"Keeping the jobs in America....American made products...so that we can buy American made products and supporting the American worker. That's huge." Solidly behind the success of both companies is Brookings Mayor Keith Corbett...because every time these companies expand or hire new workers it benefits the city's financial bottom line. "Those employees are good employees. They're good jobs. They shop local. That's helped our sales tax." Mayor Corbett also says both 3M and Walmart donate money to community projects and provide employees with scholarship funds....some of which end up being at S-D-S-U in Brookings.