Business center dedicated at college

Fort Yates, North Dakota (AP) 9-08

Sitting Bull College officials say an entrepreneurial center will be a place for businesses to grow as well as a way to boost the area’s economy.

The $3.6 million center is part of a $40 million renovation plan for the campus on the Standing Rock Reservation, straddling the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

“To date, we have reached 50 percent of that goal, and we are dedicating our fifth new facility on the Sitting Bull College Campus,” said Laurel Vermillion, the college president.

“This place is a place to help those people who dream,” said Ron His Horse Is Thunder, the Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman.

The Entrepreneurial Center is to provide nine jobs and give businesses a starting point.

“This Entrepreneurial Center will provide their basic support, the incubator to help businesses to get off the ground at a cost they can afford,” federal Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said at the dedication.

“There are risks in doing this,” Schafer said. “For sure, there are risks as for sure, there will be failures. But capturing a vision can carry a cost.”

The college hopes to compete a student center next spring.