The Black Hills Knowledge Network and South Dakota Dashboard announced that Dr. Jared McEntaffer has joined the organization as project director and regional economist. In this new position, McEntaffer will play a vital role in the state and the region by providing economic insight to public policymakers, businesses, and other organizations.
“For many years our region has had to rely on consultants from other parts of the country to help us understand the challenges and opportunities we face,” says Eric Abrahamson, chairman of the board of the Black Hills Knowledge Network. “Jared will help us fill this gap and give us on the ground expertise.”
Born and raised in South Dakota, McEntaffer hails from Pierre and obtained his bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in both economics and German. He earned his PhD in economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then taught at Pennsylvania State University. His research interests lie in tackling real-world problems and delivering valuable insights through empirical analysis. Much of McEntaffer’s work has focused on labor markets, including the effectiveness of worker training programs in South Dakota. Some of his other research has involved estimating the economic value of a college degree, and forecasting the adoption of—and employment related to—renewable energy technologies.
As project director of the Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard, McEntaffer will provide overall strategic direction for the nonprofit’s two online public information initiatives. He will also oversee the development of various research reports and data projects and supervise the staff of the organization. In addition, McEntaffer will lead various consulting projects for local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations who have a need for economic and data analysis for capital budgeting, economic development, workforce expansion, business planning, and more.
Recognizing the need for economic expertise in the region, various funders came together to make it possible for the Black Hills Knowledge Network to bring McEntaffer on board, including Regional Health, the Bush Foundation, Security First Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, Black Hills Surgical Hospital, Black Hills Community Bank, Black Hills Orthopedic and Spine Center, West River Electric, Golden West Telecommunications, and the City of Rapid City.
Jared can be contacted for interviews by email or at 605-716-0045.