Internships link tech courses to real world jobs

For Immediate Release August 5, 2019


Workforce development success relies upon connecting the vital elements that can meet our region's talent needs for the future—and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is implementing programs that make those links.


            This summer the Development Foundation partnered with South Dakota state government's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Dakota State University. The partnership combined the Development Foundation's Your Future program with Sioux Falls area business internships to integrate instructional learning gained through DSU's courses into practical, real-life applications.  


            DSU courses involved in the program included Computer Sciences 150 and Web Application Programming 275. These courses teach students—through hands-on computer lab work—to program, design and build web applications to support corporate departments including human resources, finance and accounting, marketing and government departments in engineering services, information systems and technology, parks and recreation and GIS.  


            Over a six-week period running from June 24 through August 1, 24 high school students from Baltic, Beresford, Harrisburg, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Washington worked 12 hours a week as paid interns for one of eight organizations. Partnering with the Development Foundation program were the City of Sioux Falls, Augustana University, LifeScape, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Sammons Financial Group Member Companies, Wee Care and the Washington Pavilion.  


            Students were selected for this innovative opportunity based on academic performance, instructor recommendations and evaluations of written essays explaining why each student was interested in this program. The students were able to learn technology applications and experience the modern workplace, while the organizations participating connected with a new generation of talented team members.


            "Having interns working with our company has reenergized us and makes us excited for the future," said Michell Williams, IT Director at Sammons Financial Group Member Companies. Sammons hosted two interns this summer, Jackson Heiberger of Beresford High School and Hayden Gross of Lincoln High School.


            Funding for this program comes from the National Science Foundation, according to Denise M. Guzzetta, Development Foundation Vice President of Talent and Workforce Development.


            "Our partnership with the state, DSU and area businesses gives students and companies a chance to plan for the future," Guzzetta said. "The opportunities—and the talent—in our region are limitless."




For more information, please contact Guzzetta at 605-339-0103 or email

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