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Career Connections Program Gets a Big Lift from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation

  • August 31, 2020

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation was awarded a grant from the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation to help fund the Career Connection program launching this August. This talent development initiative is targeted to help incoming high school juniors and seniors in the Sioux Falls School District that are first-generation Americans, low-income, or otherwise under-represented.

Career Connections is launching in 2020 as part of the Development Foundation’s K-12 programming initiatives, which are supported by the Forward Sioux Falls Strategic Workforce Action Agenda. Career Connections is designed to address the shortage of skilled labor within the community by focusing on developing early career talent within our K-12 system with programming that includes business mentoring, early career exposure through a series of job shadowing experiences, and alignment of post-secondary curriculum to educate and equip these students with the skills that businesses need them to have.

We have tremendous support surrounding these 60 students involved in this first year and they will just be paving the way for many others to follow over the next five years

Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development

Considering the Sioux Falls School District has 600 seniors graduating annually from our public schools who don’t pursue any form of post-secondary education, the Development Foundation is committed to reducing this number by focusing on a group of 60 highly motivated students for the Career Connections’ inaugural year.  First, the program will connect students with employers who will help students to determine the right pathway for them into the workplace. Then, the Career Connections program will assist students in pursuing some form of post-secondary education, such as a certificate program, a technical degree, or an associates’ or bachelor’s degree from one of the South Dakota’s Board of Regents schools.

“We have tremendous support surrounding these 60 students involved in this first year and they will just be paving the way for many others to follow over the next five years,” says Denise Guzzetta. “The community support and business engagement within Sioux Falls continues to drive our local economy and opportunities for everyone forward.”

The Career Connection program launches this August.

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