Former Californian now helps build Sioux Falls skyline thanks to opportune move

There were four states on the list of possible moves: South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida — and South Dakota?

“It’s kind of funny,” California native Brock Williams acknowledges. “We’d never thought about South Dakota.”

But that changed in 2020, when he and his wife, Sabrina, started looking to move outside of his home state.

“She’s originally from the North Carolina-Virginia area, and my family is spread out,” he said. “We were already thinking about moving away from California, then 2020 happened. Once we went through that, we thought, what’s really holding us back?”

Brock and Sabrina Williams

And, because of the national attention South Dakota received during the pandemic, the couple’s interest in the state grew.

“We started researching, and once you do, it opens up this path to the Midwest,” Williams said. “We started learning more about the Midwest and realized if we were going to make the move, Sioux Falls was the place to be.”

With two decades of experience in the construction industry, both residential and commercial, he began seeking a new role to fit with his project management background.

“I got an offer in South Carolina, an offer in Florida, and they just didn’t feel right,” he said. “The companies didn’t feel right, the area didn’t feel right, and then I got a call back from Journey Construction.”

After his first interview with Journey, it felt right.

“Journey, in a sense, grew up with Sioux Falls, and I appreciated the history they had and felt a good connection,” he said. “But still, when they gave me the offer, I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how the area was going to grow.”

Brock Williams

But that nervousness didn’t last long. He soon learned Journey would oversee the large expansion of Cherapa Place in downtown Sioux Falls, which includes a 10-story office and condominium tower, two buildings of retail and apartments, a parking ramp and central courtyard.

He joined the team as a project manager in late 2021.

“Being from California, I was part of some larger projects, and I’ve never backed down from one, so I wanted to be on Cherapa, and that’s what happened,” he said.

“The project has been going great. The other two project managers on the Cherapa project, Joe Niewohner and Jesse Davey, have both been on the project since the beginning with me and have been a huge help in familiarizing me with the new-construction market and learning about South Dakota. The entire Cherapa team has been very welcoming and accepting of me.”

Brock Williams views Cherapa Place project in Sioux Falls South Dakota

His employer also has fulfilled the promise he saw in that initial interview.

“Journey really does stand by their values and ethics,” Williams said. “Where I come from in California, it’s a real cutthroat environment, but because of how we do business here, I’ve built stronger business relationships in the last two years than I did in 15 years in California. It’s pretty crazy – yet refreshing.”

Sabrina Williams has found a job she enjoys too, putting her health care background to work at Delta Dental.

“It allows her to work from home, and she absolutely loves it,” Williams said. “It’s a great company, and she loves working for them. We’ve gotten really lucky with the work environment and finding great employers here.”

It’s more than luck, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“Brock and Sabrina’s experience is exactly what so many others discover as they explore their career options in Sioux Falls,” she said.

“This community is filled with employers who reflect your values and respect your needs and the role you play in contributing to our shared success. Construction and health care are two fields in particular where we have so many opportunities as a growing community to welcome newcomers ready to grow their careers.”

Brock Williams working for Journey Construction in Sioux Falls South Dakota

The family has happily moved into an east-side home near Harmodon Park, where despite Williams working in downtown Sioux Falls, his commute is 10 minutes.

“I still have friends from California, and when I tell them I get off work at 5:30 and am home by 5:40, they’re like, ‘You’re kidding me,” he said. “Back home, I commuted an hour and a half to two hours each way. After doing the math, I realized how much of my life I was spending in my car.”

With their newfound free time, the couple enjoys taking their Labrador retriever out for walks on the vast Sioux Falls trail system and hiking at state parks.


“We’re really big on fishing, we like to kayak, and then, in the winter, we try to go snowshoeing while we can, so we’re embracing it full force,” Williams said. “Before moving, I’d never really gotten into hunting. But the state has a program for people who are new, which one of my co-workers introduced me to, so I’m hooked on pheasant and deer hunting now.”

Brock Williams pheasant hunting in South Dakota

Looking back, “I’m really glad we left,” he said. “We go back and visit, but once you live in a place like this and then revisit the hustle and craziness in the bigger city, it’s very noticeable, but coming back always gives you a chance to decompress.”

Brock and Sabrina Williams


In the coming months, Cherapa Place will begin moving in its new office tenants. Early next year, the building Williams is overseeing will move in its first residents. For someone new to the community, helping immediately impact its skyline has left a big impression.

“I think Sioux Falls is just a great place to live, and these projects are going to turn Sioux Falls into an even better place,” Williams said. “I think it’s moving in a great direction, the leadership this city has is phenomenal, and I think we have a bright future in Sioux Falls.”

Are you ready to continue your career journey in Sioux Falls? Email to get connected, or visit to learn more.

Sioux Falls ranked 3rd in economic strength

Sioux Falls: 3rd in economic strength

With new development occurring in every direction in Sioux Falls, it’s easy to wonder: is every city like this?

Sioux Falls’ economy has repeatedly shown its strength through the uncertainty of the last few years. Now, we have another accolade to show for it: Sioux Falls has been ranked 3rd in economic strength by POLICOM.

“The economic strength rankings are created so POLICOM can study the characteristics of strong and weak economies,” the publication of the findings says. “The highest ranked areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period. The lowest ranked areas have been in decline for an extended period.”

To see how the rankings were compiled and how other cities compared, view the full study at the link below!

Intern-focused events help connect college students with full Sioux Falls experience

The best internship experiences don’t start and end with the workday.

“It’s key that businesses offer real-world, applicable and immersive internship opportunities, and many Sioux Falls organizations do,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“But it’s just as important that these young professionals are meeting one another, beyond their own workplace, and becoming connected with the broader Sioux Falls area and everything that makes it a wonderful place to start your adult life as well as your career.”

interns smile with ice cream at Polar Bites

This year, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation reached out to interns and workplaces citywide with a summer filled with programming.

It started with a “get to know Sioux Falls” luncheon, continued with a scavenger hunt downtown midsummer and ended with the chance to give back to those in need within the Sioux Falls community by making hygiene bags for residents at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

Interns smile with hygiene bags assembled for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House

In between, interns began socializing on their own.

“Meeting new people here in Sioux Falls absolutely helped improve my internship experience here in Sioux Falls,” said Sawyer Lee, an intern at Dacotah Bank.

“They recommended different activities that go on around town, as well as different places to go eat. I was able to connect with some people from college, and we would get together during the week, whether it be for a drink or to watch bands playing at the Levitt.”

Universal banking intern Leah Barber enjoyed a comprehensive introduction to the city through her work with First Bank & Trust.

She was able to tour The Steel District construction site with developer Craig Lloyd, meet with clients and attend events such as the South Dakota Bankers Association Convention, SME Sioux Falls Leadership Summit and SDBA Ag Credit Conference.

Steel District

“Sioux Falls has the most supportive and exciting community to experience the professional world as it continues to expand and attract exceptional talent,” she said. “I am wildly grateful to everyone that has played a part in making my internship a success.”

First Premier Bank/Premier Bankcard intern Josh Jackson, a Lincoln High School graduate and Purdue University sophomore, received a Spirit of Sioux Falls scholarship from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and participated in its Lunch & Learn programs.

“It was a great experience getting to meet other interns and professionals in the Sioux Falls area and learning about some of the community’s opportunities,” he said. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that the scholarship has afforded me in my academic journey.”

For Henry Rollins, who originally is from Honduras, an internship at Northwestern Mutual introduced him to the financial services industry. The programming he attended through the Sioux Falls Development Foundation helped the Augustana University student connect further to the community.

Intern Sioux Falls Luncheon with YPN

“The events were informational, interactive and one of the best opportunities out there to network,” he said.

“I was able to better understand the phrase ‘your network is your net worth’ as the Development Foundation focuses on helping professionals reach their next best opportunity by exposing them to an extensive network of contacts in every industry.”

As an employer, Northwestern Mutual also sees significant value in how the Development Foundation’s programming complements its own, said Regan Dennis, director of campus recruitment and development.

INTERN Sioux Falls Luncheon with YPN

“A vital part of being successful as an intern in our program is caring about people and connecting with others in the community to provide the most impact,” she said.

INTERN Sioux Falls Luncheon

“It is important to us to introduce amazing opportunities like the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to our interns because it gives them the opportunity to participate in networking events, help grow their soft skills, learn more about the community and meet other successful individuals in the Sioux Falls area. You never know where a connection could lead you or help you in your future career path.”

Northwestern hosted 19 interns this summer and sees the Development Foundation programming as “a phenomenal tool” to showcase the benefits of starting a career in Sioux Falls, Dennis added.

INTERN Sioux Falls

“Our interns have nothing but good things to say about the Sioux Falls Development Foundation program,” she said.

“They are eager to meet new people across the community and learn more about how they can become more involved. Most of our college students don’t have much experience within this space when joining our internship program, and this gives them the opportunity to step out of the comfort zone and grow as young professionals. When attending new events, they have mentioned it puts them a lot more at ease when we encourage our interns to go as a group or with a friend.”

Rollins plans to continue an internship during the school year with a financial adviser’s personal team.

“This internship has helped me shape my future by giving me a better picture of the magnitude of impact I want to create in other people’s lives with skills I possess,” he said.

Jackson will be back at Premier too.

“I’ve learned a ton about how a call center operates and how efficiency is maintained regarding staffing levels. I’ve also met a lot of really great people here who have been extremely impactful on my experience,” he said. “My Premier internship has helped me realize that I can perform well in a leadership position. I want to take on a more influential role in whatever company I land at.”

Based on the success of INTERN Sioux Falls this summer, Guzzetta anticipates opportunities for it to grow.

“We’re continually seeing more employers and more interns attracted by the programming we offer, so we absolutely see this as a key way going forward to make sure we’re helping interns build the connections and have the experiences that will keep them coming back to Sioux Falls when it’s time to take that next career step,” she said.

Is your organization ready to get connected with all the workforce opportunities offered by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation? Email to learn more.

South Dakota ranked the most affordable state to earn a college degree

When it comes to seeking a college degree, the choices of what to study or which school to attend can seem endless. One thing at the top of mind for many students, though, is affordability.

Luckily, there’s a new listing of most affordable places to earn a college degree, compiled by Forbes. Even more exciting, that ranking lists South Dakota as the most affordable state to earn a college degree.

“To determine the most affordable states to earn a college degree, Forbes Advisor analyzed data falling under two broad categories: The actual costs of in-state tuition, fees, room, and board at public four-year universities in each state, and the cost-of-living and overall economic climate for recent graduates,” the article releasing the findings says. “We then took each of these individual metrics, weighted them, and ranked the states accordingly, with the most affordable states at the top of the ranking.”

To see why South Dakota made the top of the list, click the link below!

Collaborative effort brings STEM students, education, businesses together

Arthur Tao is weeks away from starting his senior year at Lincoln High School, but he already has spent the summer learning about neurodevelopment and doing research around a protein causing a rare disease.

Kiara Schilling and Jaritza Cruz are entering their sophomore year at South Dakota State University and shared a lab this summer while working on projects synthesizing compounds involving prostate cancer and myeloma cells, respectively.

They’re just three of the dozens of students who came together this week for a symposium organized by South Dakota EPSCoR, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, which held the event for students to present their work and receive feedback from professionals in their field.

students mingling at SD Biotech/SD EPSCoR Networking Reception

“I learned a lot – a lot you don’t learn for labs in classes,” said Schilling, a Minnesota native majoring in chemistry and biotechnology.

As part of their visit to Sioux Falls, the students had a chance to connect with one another, graduate schools, graduate students and the Sioux Falls business community as part of a networking event sponsored by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation in partnership with Sanford Research, South Dakota Biotech and EPSCoR.

students mingling at SD Biotech/SD EPSCoR Networking Reception

“We wanted to open these students’ eyes to the incredible opportunities to continue their education and their careers here,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“With them as primarily undergraduates, we start with the advantage that they’ve already chosen South Dakota for their education. Now, it’s up to us to help them realize their next steps can be here too.”

The students also had a chance to tour Sanford Research.

students tour Sanford Research Labs

“This was such a great opportunity for us to show all the available careers at Sanford,” said Kara McCormick, who oversees outreach and communications at Sanford Research and serves on the board of South Dakota Biotech.

“During the tour, they saw research labs and learned about the different types of equipment and bench research that happens at Sanford. We’ve also worked with many undergraduates participating in the symposium on their research and have for a number of years. We’ve found there are quite a few students who come back multiple summers, and many end up going to graduate school in South Dakota or even working here when they graduate.”

students tour Sanford Research Labs

Tao didn’t exactly need the tour – the high school student actually did his research work at Sanford this summer.

“This opportunity is fantastic. A lot of larger regions don’t have something so immersive,” he said. “It’s the culture of learning that’s surprised me the most. People have been really helpful, and there have been boot camps and seminars to teach me the basics, so the learning curve has become easier.”

He also took full advantage of the networking offered.

“That’s been invaluable,” Tao said. “I’ve been able to ask others in the field what advice they would give to me as a high schooler. Getting that broad perspective of people in the field with different backgrounds from mine has been really helpful. Going into the internship, I was thinking of doing my undergrad and med school, but this has made me consider a Ph.D. route or an MD-Ph.D.”

For the current undergrads, the exposure to Sanford Research and the networking that occurred there were equally valuable.

“It was really exciting to come here,” said Cruz, who came to the U.S. from Mexico to major in biochemistry. “I’m looking into medical school in South Dakota, and it was really cool to meet other students here.”

Students mingling at SD Biotech/SD EPSCoR Reception

Schilling was inspired by the work at Sanford Research too.

“I thought it was really cool seeing the facilities,” she said. “It kind of makes me want to come here.”

The networking between grad students and undergrads can be just as beneficial as introducing them to businesses, said Mel Ustad, the principal investigator at South Dakota EPSCoR.

“They’re not only interacting with future employers but getting to meet students who are pursuing paths similar to themselves,” he said. “It’s a great, all-around learning experience as an undergraduate and a valuable opportunity to conduct hands-on research at the same time.”

The event and the symposium the following day drew seven businesses looking to connect with workers in STEM fields, said Joni Ekstrum, executive director of South Dakota Biotech.

Students mingling at SD Biotech/SD EPSCoR Reception

“We hear regularly from biotech businesses searching for talent to help support their work, and the good news is South Dakota is full of that talent in our universities. The key is making those connections,” she said.

“That’s why events like this that combine professional development with education and networking are so valuable.”

That was the goal behind the Development Foundation supporting the event, Guzzetta said.

“It’s all about making those connections, building those relationships and exposing our talented students to worlds and people they never knew existed,” she said. “We know conversations that begin at events like these can lead to long and rewarding careers.”

Internship Info: Jane Rae Events

Learn about Jane Rae Events in this Q&A with Ashley Anderson and Tess Oplinger. Ashley is the Event Sales Manager and Tess is the Rental Collections Stylist. Apply for jobs and internships at the link below!

Tell us about Jane Rae Events.

Jane Rae Events is a full-service event planning and design company based in the Midwest. Our downtown boutique studio offers planning, full-service event design, and event rentals all in one place. This allows us to create a unique and cohesive design that fits your vision. To put it simply, we love creating joy. We strive to be the best we can be for our clients and create an unforgettable experience throughout our process and the event day.

What is it like to be an intern at Jane Rae Events?

An intern at Jane Rae Events has the opportunity to experience many different areas in the event industry. We make sure they get hands-on experience by sitting in on client meetings, creating designs for events and helping with our floral team. They will also work side by side with our event planning team on both wedding and corporate event days; where they will see the event planning process from start to finish.

What does a day in the life look like at Jane Rae Events?

Every day of the internship is completely unique. Because no event is alike, no day preparing for those events is alike. The intern team will help with the preparations for each event, designing florals, packing and unpacking, ensuring our rental inventory is up to event standards. They will also complete tasks on their overall internship checklist which includes projects in marketing, client meetings and event design.

What makes Jane Rae Events stand out?

We have the unique opportunity to walk alongside our clients through all the event planning and design processes. Because we have an in-house floral team and an extensive rental inventory, we ensure that our client’s vision is being met, down to the smallest detail.

What is the best part about working at Jane Rae Events?

Hands down, the team and culture. We are a team of hard working and passionate women who want nothing more than to spread the joy of creating spaces for people to gather and feel celebrated.

What is the best thing about working and living in Sioux Falls?

Sioux Falls has a small town feel with big city opportunities. Industry growth is happening so rapidly, and it is a very exciting place to work and live. There are great events happening all over the city and never a shortage of new people to meet. We feel lucky to be a part of the Sioux Falls community.

Careers at Jane Rae Events

Claire Herbst
Want to be a part of INTERN Sioux Falls? Contact:

Claire Herbst

Talent Recruitment Coordinator

SFDF hosts DTSF scavenger hunt for Sioux Falls interns

On Tuesday, July 11th, interns from around Sioux Falls had the opportunity to explore our downtown area with a scavenger hunt. Interns were grouped into teams and given a list of clues that took them to landmarks, locations, and businesses. This was a great opportunity for interns to network with each other and learn a thing or two about our downtown area. Sioux Falls has a rich history that they were able to get a glimpse of throughout their clues.

The prize on the line was a gift card to Downtown Sioux Falls. Each member of the winning team received one. These gift cards can be used at 50+ businesses downtown.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Polar Bites on 8th & Railroad for being our last stop on the scavenger hunt. The interns were able to get a sweet treat, play some mini golf, and network with each other at the end of the hunt!

“We’re thankful for the INTERN Sioux Falls program at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation for stopping at Polar Bites where we’re proud to serve the coldest treats and host the warmest smiles!”

-Matt & Jessica Rooney, Owners of Polar Bites

From California to New York – and now Sioux Falls – professional actress brings talent to new home

There were plenty of reasons Katelyn Walsh figured she wouldn’t end up moving from her home in California across the country.

Applying to New York University’s famed Tisch School of the Arts already required being accepted into one of the nation’s most competitive arts programs. Then, not only was the aspiring actress accepted to the school but also offered a spot in one of its most coveted programs and given enough financial assistance to make it a possibility.

Katelyn Walsh

“The only reason I moved was for the education,” Walsh said. “I loved performing, and this was the only thing I felt worth investing in.”

She graduated in 2022, but that was only after the pandemic upended the experience, causing her to return to California and put her senior year on hold.

Katelyn Walsh performing

“I can’t spend my senior year online,” she remembered thinking. “And that’s what they were going to have us do. Trying to dance and sing on Zoom was not really worth it to me.”

She ended up being paid to perform at a regional theater in Utah.

“I gained experience, but my mind shifted,” she said. “When I did go back for my senior year, my ability to thrive in the city had changed a lot. It was already a little scary the first three years, but I felt a lot less safe, and it got worse and worse. I’d fallen in love with the city but started falling out of love with it.”

Katelyn Walsh in front of Radio City Music Hall

Her values had evolved, she said.

“I really wanted family, and I didn’t feel safe walking other people’s kids as a nanny. How would I feel safe walking my own kids?” she said. “It wasn’t worth the sacrifice, especially since I was paying over $1,000 a month for an 8-by-8 room, and my closet was in my kitchen. My roommates loved it, but it wasn’t for me anymore.”

But returning to California wasn’t in the cards, either. Her parents had gotten an estimate on their house on a whim, “and they got way more than they expected,” Walsh said.

Their move brought them to Sioux Falls. She has grandparents originally from North Dakota, and her sister’s family lives in Bismarck.

“My parents realized ‘if our kids ever want to settle near us, we don’t want to have them settle somewhere it’s hard to raise a family financially,’” Walsh said. “The area we were in was slowly going downhill, but financially it was costing more.”

While she had no experience with Sioux Falls, the recent NYU grad decided she would move here too, keep auditioning nationally and travel for roles as needed.

Katelyn Walsh in New York City

“But as I soon as I got back to New York for an audition, my anxiety flared and put me back to where I was a year ago,” Walsh said. “And I realized I love performing. No doubt in my mind. But if I’m paid zero money performing and making money another way, I will be just as joyful as if I were paid more on a larger scale. That never mattered to me. Maybe I could do it, but I don’t think I want it.”

And that’s the story that brought her to a Sioux Falls stage, where she played the lead role this spring in The Premiere Playhouse’s “Cinderella.”

Katelyn Walsh performing in a production by the Premiere Playhouse in Sioux Falls SD

“One of my co-workers at Blarney Stone, where I’m a server, found out that I liked theater, and he jumped on it and asked if I’d ever thought about auditioning,” she said. “I’ve only done paid work for four years, so I think it’s a big shift mentally volunteering my time and serving the community, and it actually excited me more when I thought about it that way.”

Katelyn Walsh performing in a production by the Premiere Playhouse in Sioux Falls SD

What excited her most “was being around such a diverse group of people,” she continued. “You might think NYU and diversity, but I think we get stuck in a bubble. A lot of us are college age or right out of college, very privileged, and this was different. A lot of times in small-town theater companies there’s politics behind the scenes, and I didn’t know what to expect. But everyone was so nice, beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Katelyn Walsh performing in a production by the Premiere Playhouse in Sioux Falls SD

She now has a second job and is trying to figure out what her full-time work future looks like. She has thought about teaching and potentially seeking another degree.

“The opportunities I got to perform with kids in “Cinderella” made me realize that’s definitely something I could pursue in the future,” she said.

Katelyn Walsh performing in a production by the Premiere Playhouse in Sioux Falls SD

Walsh’s early experience in Sioux Falls is a good example of what other artists will find here, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development.

“Sioux Falls is an incredibly welcoming and vibrant community for the arts and is becoming more so all the time thanks to talent like Katelyn relocating here,” she said.

“It’s easy to get involved in nonprofits like The Premiere Playhouse, but increasingly we are finding artists with paid performing opportunities, whether in a locally produced film, the local music scene or through special events. And if Katelyn does decide to look at more education, she is going to find so many opportunities in the area that will fit her work-life-school balance.”

Katelyn Walsh performing in a production

If time allows, you’ll likely see Walsh on stage in Sioux Falls in the future.

For now, though, “I love this town,” she said. “It’s got some great parts like downtown, there’s plenty to do and fun places to go, but it’s got the small-town feel where people are willing to chat at the grocery store. I bought a car for the first time, and being able to walk to my car at night and feel safe is definitely different.”

For someone who has lived on both sides of the country, landing in the middle seems to have its benefits.

“I was surprised how friendly my co-workers were and how it wasn’t too difficult to make friends,” she added. “Accepting that I was allowed to change my mind was huge. You think you’re on a path, and everyone expects you to follow through in a certain way, but it’s OK to change your mind and have your life take on a different form than you ever imagined.”

If you think your path could wind through Sioux Falls, we’d love to connect with you! Email or visit to learn more about opportunities to grow your future here.

Sioux Falls among best-performing cities for 2023

Even after the past two years of economic uncertainty, Sioux Falls has risen to the top in many different ways — from being consistently ranked as one of the best states for business to earning numerous accolades for our quality of life. Sioux Falls has once again been named a top place to live and work. This time, we’ve been ranked among the top 10 best-performing small cities by the Milken Institute!

“The BPC index reflects 12 indicators of economic growth and access to opportunities, providing a comprehensive assessment of the performance of cities over the past two years,” the report says. “The index is calculated by using 12 measures that fall into three categories: labor market performance, high-tech impact, and access to economic opportunities.”

View the full report and see how Sioux Falls compares with other U.S. cities by clicking ‘learn more’ below!

Looking for great jobs and affordable housing? Sioux Falls is the place to be!

When it comes to finding a place to settle down, locations with great jobs and affordable housing are two of the top considerations. Luckily, Sioux Falls has been listed as one of the top 10 U.S. cities with plenty of jobs and affordable housing by GOBankingRates!

“To identify cities in the U.S. that have plenty of jobs and cheap housing, GOBankingRates gathered information on the 200 biggest housing markets in the U.S., according to Zillow,” the article releasing the findings says. “We gathered data available regarding the typical home value and monthly rent as of February 2023, as well as its Metro Statistical Area unemployment rate, according to the December 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics data.”

To see how Sioux Falls compared with the other top 10 cities, click ‘learn more’ below!

Sioux Falls is the 4th best place to rent in America

With inflation driving up the cost of just about everything, it’s more important than ever to ensure living expenses fit within your budget, and renting affordability is a key factor to consider. Sioux Falls has risen to the top once again, ranked the 4th most affordable place to rent in America by WalletHub!

“To determine where renters can get the most bang for their buck, WalletHub compared more than 180 rental markets based on 21 key measures of rental attractiveness and quality of life,” the story releasing the findings says. “Our data set ranges from the difference between rental rates and mortgage payments to historical price changes, the cost of living and job availability.”

To see how other cities compared, check out the link below!

SFDF hosts first INTERN Sioux Falls event

On Wednesday, June 28, interns gathered at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to enjoy lunch and network with members from the Young Professionals Network (YPN) steering committee.

Casey Boerger, Young Professionals Network Manager, gave a presentation on what the Young Professionals Network is and how the interns can get involved. Steering committee members Nichelle Lund, Alissa Matt, and Kristin Hoefert-Redlinger all agreed that the YPN has made a huge impact on their professional careers. They were able to share their experiences, offering valuable insights and career advice.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s INTERN Sioux Falls program is designed to create opportunities for interns to get involved in the business community and get a better idea of what it is like to live, work, and play in Sioux Falls. The interns who attended were able to form relationships with their peers that will extend beyond lunch, creating a network of support.

The INTERN Sioux Falls Lunch was a great way for me to meet some of the interns around the city and get more acclimated to Sioux Falls. In addition to the networking opportunity, the event gave me the chance to talk with some of the YPN members about their favorite things to do and places to visit around town.

Sawyer Lee, Intern at Dacotah Bank

I am so appreciative of the investment the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has made in the area’s interns and their experiences by putting this event together. Even as a Sioux Falls native, being able to network and share a space with like-minded individuals pursuing big professional goals is energizing, encouraging, and fun!

Leah Barber, Intern at First Bank & Trust

I had a group of young gentlemen at my table from all different backgrounds, and it was such a great opportunity to see them bonding over shared interests and exchanging contact information to join sporting leagues and swap business strategies and ideas. We had one person who had been in Sioux Falls for less than a month and one that had lived outside of town his whole life. The mix of individuals was truly a great opportunity for all of them, and me, to see how our city is growing and changing right before our eyes!

Nichelle Lund, Holiday Inn City Centre & YPN Steering Committee Member

join us at another intern sioux falls event!

All Events

Claire Herbst
Want to be involved with INTERN Sioux Falls? Contact

Claire Herbst

Talent Recruitment Coordinator, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

SFDF welcomes summer intern, Maddie Schwebach!

Summer is here! School is out, the weather is warm, and it’s time for new beginnings. Summer also means internship season, and the Foundation is excited to introduce our intern for the summer, Maddie Schwebach!

Maddie grew up in Dell Rapids, S.D., and attended Dell Rapids St. Mary High School. After graduating, she continued her education at the University of South Dakota, where she graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with a minor in Sustainability.

This summer, she’s assisting staff with identifying potential opportunities for development through conducting market research and will help coordinate and organize events and outreach activities to increase community awareness of Foundation initiatives.

When it comes to working at the Foundation, Maddie is most excited to network and form connections.

“I am a people person!” Maddie said. “I enjoy learning about new ideas and concepts, so I am looking forward to learning how to apply what I learned during my four years at USD to my projects at the Foundation.”

If you stop by the office this summer, be sure to say hello to Maddie and welcome her!

Career Connections increases skilled and qualified pipeline for employers

The Career Connections program has achieved impressive results in just its second year. More than 20 talented and motivated scholars have received highly competitive scholarships from renowned programs like Build Dakota, Freedom, and Dakota Corps, enabling them to pursue higher education in various fields such as engineering, healthcare, nursing, computer science, business, and skilled trades.

Kayla Galindo-Lemus, a Lincoln High School graduate and Build Dakota scholar who chose Muth Electric, will join the Muth Electric family this Fall. Shannon Globke, District Manager for Muth Electric, says, “we are honored to be part of the program and excited to have Kayla join our team.”

Kayla Galindo-Lemus

In addition, nine graduates have been accepted into the Sioux Falls PD Cadet program, a new and highly selective initiative set to launch in August 2023. This program aims to support the area’s law enforcement personnel pipeline.

The success of Career Connections is a testament to its unwavering focus on providing students with immersive career learning opportunities, such as job shadows and project-based internships. The program addresses common barriers to post-secondary education, including financial obstacles and a lack of employer support for flexible schedules.

Since its inception in 2021, Career Connections has helped 426 graduating seniors become first-generation college students. This approach sets them on the path to fulfilling and in-demand careers that will meet the workforce needs of local employers.

Emily Koo, EL Department Chair at Lincoln High School, shared her excitement about the program: “Career Connections is an incredible program, and we are thrilled with the opportunities to help our students.”

Denise Guzzetta, the Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, expressed her pride and optimism about the program’s future. She attributed the program’s progress and tremendous results to the collaboration and engagement of teachers, counselors, and employers involved in the program. She also acknowledged the instrumental role played by the program’s partners in helping students make viable and financially rewarding career choices.

It’s ALL about workforce development

Our organization is proud to offer 14 talent and workforce programs for our partners to utilize as a valuable community resource to enhance their workforce efforts, both now and in the future. This year alone, we have had over 12,000 direct participants in our talent and workforce programs, with almost 60% participating in Forward Sioux Falls programming, which is specifically designed for companies with immediate hiring needs.

Our virtual and in-person programming includes Talent Thursday, INTERN Sioux Falls, Talent Now offered at the Summit League have been tremendously successful in connecting employers with talent seeking employment. Mike West, executive associate director for external affairs at the University of Nebraska – Omaha, has praised the use of the tournament as a recruiting opportunity for Sioux Falls employers with urgent hiring needs.

We are also dedicated to increasing the talent development STEM pipeline in the professional and skilled trades to meet the growing needs of our expanding economy. Our Career Connections has assisted 426 graduating seniors in becoming first-generation college students since 2021 by addressing common barriers to higher education. Students are involved and set on a path to fulfilling and highly sought-after careers that will meet the workforce demands of local employers. Learn more about the impact of the Career Connections program through this spotlight involving Muth Electric.

Career Connections works by providing immersive career learning opportunities, such as job shadows and project-based internships, and addresses common barriers to post-secondary education. Learn more about the projects and impact from two Career Connections graduates and the impact its having on their career choices.

In April, we collaborated and coordinated Talent Talks with Young Professionals employed within our community to helped nearly 4,000 high schoolers envision themselves and a life in Sioux Falls in the next couple of years. Learn more about the strategy involved.

We are also proud to support the thriving healthcare and manufacturing industries by raising awareness of STEM-related occupations and careers while developing the next generation of the workforce for Sioux Falls through our popular Your Future STEM program. Earlier this month, over 200 incoming sixth through tenth graders from the Sioux Falls area had the opportunity to immerse themselves in STEM-related experiential learning as part of the Your Future STEM Summer Mini Camp at Augustana University. Read more about this program here.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the latest article in our Newcomer Series, which features a family of nine who relocated from Canada and their experiences in Sioux Falls.

And preparations are underway for the WIN in Workforce Summit 2023! Two-time Olympic champion and renowned author Nancy Kerrigan will be the keynote speaker. The WIN Summit will take place November 1, 2023. Tickets are available here.