Raven Industries, Inc. will open a research and development facility in February, 2012 on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, SD to help support the growth plans of Raven's four divisions and develop a source for recruiting new talent. Raven will start by inhabiting approximately 2,000 square feet at the existing Black Hills Business Development Center, which is currently home to a range of businesses from large nationally known companies like Caterpillar to small one person start-up companies. Initially, Raven plans to fill three full-time positions and six part-time intern positions to work on electronic design and software programming, as well as mechanical projects relating to precision agriculture equipment through their Applied Technology Division. The precision agriculture technology developed at the facility will ultimately help to feed the growing world by improving efficiencies, accuracy and minimizing waste to produce more food on less land. As the facility expands, Raven plans to add development projects for the remaining three divisions: Electronic Systems, Engineered Films, and Aerostar.
Raven has had past success with similar research and development centers through their Austin, TX location where a team of 25 people develop products for Raven's Aerostar and Applied Technology Divisions. "The new research and development center aligns with Raven's interest in supporting South Dakota's higher education and provides rewarding engineering jobs right here in South Dakota," says Dan Rykhus, president and CEO of Raven Industries. "We plan to take advantage of science and engineering students, post-graduate students, and graduates as well as other strong talent in the area."
"We are honored to be sought out by Raven Industries for our top-caliber engineering students. Both the company's technology backbone and reputation for its work with NASA and the military make for a natural fit here at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology," says Dr. Robert A. Wharton, president of the School of Mines. "We look forward to Raven offering practical work experiences to help further develop our students."
"The State of South Dakota is proud to support the efforts of Raven Industries and their pursuit to support higher education, provide jobs and offer real-world experience for students through their new facility on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus," says South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. "I'm pleased Raven is expanding into western South Dakota. This kind of creative partnership is just one way private industry and the state are partnering to build out our workforce."