Your Future STEM 2022

Your Future STEM is a workforce program of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. The goal of the program is to immerse students into the in-demand job opportunities that careers in STEM can offer.

In this video, we recap our March 2022 Your Future STEM event with middle schoolers at Sioux Falls Christian School. With help from Tessier’s and ISG, students learned the mathematics and proportions needed to mix concrete and structural applications through an experiment.



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Forward Sioux Falls logo


Forward Sioux Falls is a unique, innovative program designed to grow and improve the Sioux Falls region. Created through a joint venture between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, we work to outline strategic initiatives to grow jobs, businesses and quality of life.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation launches UPSKILL Sioux Falls

Over the last few months, supply chain challenges have spotlighted the importance of the transportation industry. Without trucks and drivers, our economy would come to a standstill.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation, in partnership with Southeast Technical College (STC) and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), has created a new program to increase the number of CDL drivers in our community.

UPSKILL Sioux Falls is a cost-sharing program that reimburses employers for Class B CDL classroom training. The employer shares in the training cost by paying for the drive time requirement and the final DOT field exam cost. All costs will initially be paid by the business. The business then submits to the SFDF for reimbursement of classroom training.

Cost breakdown of upskill sioux falls

Eligibility/requirements for participation & reimbursement:

  • Business will pay CDL driver a minimum $20.00 per hour upon certification*
    • *Employees currently receiving $20.00 per hour must receive a minimum $1.00 per hour wage increase upon licensing
  • Business is a Forward Sioux Falls investor or a member of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation
  • Employer must provide proof of course completion, training time, and passage of final DOT exam.

Please see the guide below for more information on the trainings conducted through STC, and email Sharman Smith at with any questions or to request to sign up.

STC Class B CDL Trainings

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Forward Sioux Falls logo


Forward Sioux Falls is a unique, innovative program designed to grow and improve the Sioux Falls region. Created through a joint venture between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, we work to outline strategic initiatives to grow jobs, businesses and quality of life.

Sioux Falls Development Foundation awarded $100,000 from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for workforce recruitment

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is proud to announce they’ve been awarded a $100,000 workforce recruitment grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“It’s no secret that workforce is the biggest challenge for businesses right now,” said Bob Mundt, President and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “As the leading organization dedicated to improving the economy of Sioux Falls, we’ve been proud to offer innovative workforce programs, but this grant funding gives us the opportunity to do even more, and that’s something we’re really excited about.”

In August, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced a workforce recruitment program to inform out-of-state job seekers that South Dakota businesses are hiring. Communities throughout South Dakota were invited to apply for funding, which was distributed based on the partnership commitment and the quality of jobs available. The initiative is a co-op matching grant, meaning the funds distributed by the state must also be matched by the receiving economic development organization.

The initiative has two components: marketing funding and workforce incentive funding. The marketing dollars will be spent on digital ads to recruit people to join the Sioux Falls workforce.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation plans to use the workforce incentive dollars to build an upskilling program in partnership with Southeast Technical College. The two organizations will work together to identify critical-need areas in which existing members of the workforce could be trained – also known as ‘upskilling’ – to perform higher-paying, higher skill level jobs. These areas could include: healthcare, building trades, cybertechnology, and biotech.

“Southeast Technical College is excited to partner with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to continue to fill the workforce needs of our region,” said Robert Griggs, President of Southeast Technical College. “Our organizations have a long history of working together, and we are thrilled about developing another avenue to help fill the gap in the workforce pipeline.”

The grant also requires that businesses participating in the workforce upskilling program also provide matching funds. This allows businesses to receive upskilling for their employee(s) at a fraction of what the cost would be under normal circumstances.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation anticipates launching their marketing campaign and workforce upskilling incentive program in March 2022.

4 ways to maximize your ROI through internships

What’s one of the best ways your business can attract and retain desirable employees? Internships!

Providing a great internship experience can help you add the right people and skills to your talent pipeline. This webinar provides tips and best practices for hosting an internship that’s successful for both your company and your intern(s).

At the end of the presentation is a moderated panel discussion featuring Dr. Venky Venkatachalam, Dean and Professor in the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business, Teagen Molden of Marsh McLennan Agency – Sioux Falls, and Jodi Schwan, founder and publisher of Sioux Falls.Business.


Watch the webinar

Denise Guzzetta
Interested in being part of our workforce programs?

Denise Guzzetta

Vice President of Talent and Workforce Development, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Learn innovative approaches to offering internships at upcoming event

Learn how to increase your team’s production and ROI while offering valuable internship experiences at an upcoming workforce development event.

Coordinated by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, this panel discussion Feb. 3 will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Commerce Center, 200 N. Phillips Ave.

Networking will begin at 3 p.m. in the Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Briefing Center located on the first floor of the Commerce Center. Employers will have the opportunity to meet students from Augustana University, the University of Sioux Falls and South Dakota State University.

The presentation will begin at 3:50 p.m. in the Betty J. Ordal Conference Center on the second floor of the Commerce Center.

“This is a full-circle opportunity for employers,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development. “Not only will you walk away with new and inspiring ideas for your internship program, but you’ll have a chance to meet one-on-one with students who could become those future interns or new hires.”

Speakers on the panel will include Teagen Molden, a USF graduate who became connected to her employer, Marsh McLennan Agency, through an internship and has taken on numerous full-time roles since graduation, and Venky Venkatachalam, dean at the USD Beacom School of Business, who has worked with multiple Sioux Falls businesses as well as the Development Foundation to create ongoing work experience opportunities for students.

“If you want to learn about best practices and new ways to think about internships, these are the people to learn from,” Guzzetta said. “Start thinking now to be ready for the interns who will be ready to contribute in a big way to your business this summer or even sooner.”

To learn more and register for the event, click here. 

South Dakota ranks 2nd on the 2022 Tax Foundation Index

When it comes to picking a state that has the best business tax climate, South Dakota is always near the top! With no corporate or individual state income tax, it’s a great place to own a business. The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index revealed South Dakota is the second best state for business tax climate. Curious which other states are in the top ranks? Learn more at the link below.

Move from Idaho leads to Crumbl Cookies manager going ‘all-in on Sioux Falls’

This was the deal: Move his family to Sioux Falls, open a couple of cookie shops and move on in a few years.

Colby Wilson and his wife, Janessa, had never been to the city before when the topic came up last winter. He was a project manager for a health system in Idaho; she was moving toward nursing school.

But when his childhood friend Brock Stokes approached him about helping expand Crumb Cookies to Sioux Falls, he was ready to listen.

“I had been in college at Utah State where Sawyer Helmsley started Crumbl in 2017, and I knew him from playing baseball growing up, so I had kept my eye on Crumbl, and I knew they had something going, and I wanted to be a part of it,” Wilson said.

“Brock told me he had just franchised some locations in Sioux Falls and was looking for someone to manage them, so after talking about what Sioux Falls had to offer, it got us really excited, and my wife and I decided to pursue the opportunity.”

They visited for the first time in early May before making a final decision.

“We wanted to be in the community and go to church and see what it would be like to live here, and we absolutely loved it,” he said. “It was a lot of fun on Phillips Avenue, and we had an opportunity to attend a local church and got to know some folks who were super friendly. Good food, good people, we couldn’t stay away.”

They moved in July and opened Crumbl Cookies at the end of the month to record crowds.

“As soon as the store opened, this community was so fantastic,” Wilson said. “Let’s just say Sioux Falls loves our cookies. It was absolutely insane.”

And the Wilsons soon realized they loved Sioux Falls enough to buy a house right away. They’ve moved into a west-side neighborhood near Roosevelt High School and have connected to the community in a big way.

“We’ve got season passes to the zoo and spent a ton of time there, the Pavilion, Butterfly House & Aquarium. We have a membership at Sanford Wellness, so we spend a lot of time at the pool,” he said. “I’ve started to do a little cycling – I’ve been a runner in the past – and there’s a fantastic trail system, and we love dogs. The dog parks here are absolutely fantastic. And we have two small children, so it’s been fun having access to so many parks.”

They’ve also established a tradition of Sunday breakfast at the Phillips Avenue Diner, explored SculptureWalk and toured holiday lights.

“It’s been tough being away from family, but so quickly we’ve gotten friends and people we consider family,” Wilson said.

The family’s experience is one shared by many others, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“We hear this continually – once families discover Sioux Falls, they become connected to this community easily and in many ways,” she said.

“In Colby’s case, it’s especially fun to see he moved for a role in the retail industry and is experiencing such a good fit. We have so many outstanding retail opportunities, whether you’re looking to be an owner/manager or grow your career on the culinary or customer service side. You don’t hear as much about people relocating for these roles, so Colby is an example of why it’s absolutely something for retail professionals to consider.”

It has been so busy at Crumbl, Janessa has been helping out there while still exploring options for nursing programs.

“She wants to pursue an advanced nursing degree, and there are tons of options,” Wilson said. “Pick a university, and they’ve got a good program. It’s just tailoring to our schedule and how quickly she wants to go through a program.”

The coming year will bring new developments on the cookie front, too, as the Wilsons are helping open the city’s second store at Dawley Farm Village later in the year.

And as for the original agreement – spending two or three years in Sioux Falls – that could be changing too.

“We truly are enjoying it so much that my wife is starting to talk about five- and 10-year plans and committing to this community,” Wilson said. “We’re all-in on Sioux Falls. We’ve dug ourselves into the community as quickly as possible. We love it.”

Talent Thursday featuring Jesse Deffenbaugh

Talent Thursday with the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is live streamed every Thursday on Facebook at 3 p.m CST. During this 30-minute program, Jesse Deffenbaugh, operations manager for Deffenbaugh Homes, shares about the current homebuilding landscape in Sioux Falls, as well as an inside look at all that a career in homebuilding can offer.

After move from Texas, company charts significant growth from new Sioux Falls location

Mike Strandell’s initial foray into entrepreneurship was an experience likely shared by many.

“I jumped in the deep end not knowing how far the shore was,” said Strandell, a Watertown, S.D. native who has led multiple companies.

He quickly learned to “swim” in the early 2000s, after his initial acquisition of Macurco, a company that specializes in commercial and industrial gas detection.

It was founded in 1972 in Denver and did $3 million in revenue when Strandell took over in 2001. He grew it to $15 million, then sold it to 3M five years later.

But what might have sounded like a classic successful entrepreneurial exit turned out to be anything but.

“3M moved it to Austin, TX and brought it to an existing factory, but it became secondary to the core business and subsequently wasn’t performing,” Strandell said.

By the end of the decade, he was approaching 3M about buying it back – with the plan to move it back to South Dakota.

“When Jeff said he wanted to come back here, we were all over that,” said Chad Hatch, managing partner of Sioux Falls-based Bird Dog Equity Partners, which invested in the company.

After a lot of research and consulting with state and local economic development leaders, Macurco made the decision to move in 2014.

“We became convinced Sioux Falls was the place,” Strandell said.

“We started with a bare bones operation and consequently have grown to almost 30. Our revenues have increased quite substantially, probably five times from when we took it back from 3M, so we couldn’t be happier.”

Macurco primarily sells products designed to control ventilation in confined spaces, such as parking garages and warehouses. In many states, new buildings with parking ramps are required to install natural gas detectors.

The company also serves the oil and gas market with wearable protection and personal safety, area protection on oil and gas rigs and explosive-proof environments.

“And we are into municipal wastewater treatment plants where they made have different needs for gas detection,” Strandell said. “Our technology covers a great variety of gases.”

It deliberately decided not to focus on residential markets, so while a major security system chain might include Macurco detection products in its installations, they’re not found on the shelves of major retailers.

About 15 to 18 percent of the company’s is international, with exports going to Latin America, Mexico, some in South America, “and we do quite a bit into the Middle East, Dubai is a big one, Saudi Arabia a little bit and a little bit into Africa,” said Jeff Christiansen, company president and minority owner, who runs the day-to-day operations.

“We have some clients in Mexico City who have worked with Macurco since the 1990s, and we don’t have a big problem getting things exported out of here. Everyone has been very helpful when we’ve needed them.”

The Sioux Falls operation began in a relatively small 5,000-square-foot building but evolved to double in size in a new facility in 2017 at 3601 N. St. Paul Ave.

The footprint is bigger than that, though.

“All our spend on supply chain is with ESI (Electronic Systems Inc.) here in town, so they build all our printed circuit boards and we work closely with them,” Christiansen said.

Growth has been tracking about 12 to 15 percent a year, “and we’ve got a healthy bottom line along with it,” Hatch said.

Macurco’s story is a solid example of the kind of success companies find in Sioux Falls, said Dean Dziedzic, vice president of economic development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“There are just so many layers to it that illustrate why companies enjoy doing business here,” he said. “Here you have a company that moved from Texas, saw significant revenue growth, praises the workforce, works in partnership with another great local business, exports successfully and continues to invest here. We couldn’t be happier for their success.”

Strandell underscored the value Macurco has found in Sioux Falls too.

“We have quality employees. We have a great workforce. I don’t think we could have made a better choice for where to located the business,” he said.

“And our products are life safety products. We get calls all the time thanking us for having a quality product that actually saved someone’s life. When you reflected on how many hundreds of thousands of products we’ve sold, we’ve affected a lot of lives and I think it’s something to be proud of.”

Logistics Companies in Expansion Mode Find Fast Success at Foundation Park

Nordica Warehouses & Lineage Logistics are in expansion mode

It started with 200,000 square feet.

Then an additional 105,000 square feet.

And Nordica Warehouses wasn’t done yet.

In the past year, it has added another 200,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Foundation Park location in northwest Sioux Falls.

“So we’ve grown a little bit,” president Dan Afdahl said.

“And it’s not full. But it’s getting there.”

Nordica has space for another 105,000-square-foot building, “and I would say within the next year or two at the most we’ll probably add that,” Afdahl said.

The success of Nordica highlights multiple advantages enjoyed by the logistics industry in Sioux Falls as a whole and at Foundation Park specifically.

It offers rare access to rail transportation, sits near the intersection of two interstates and has established infrastructure to accelerate building.

“The early success of this industry at Foundation Park has been fantastic,” said Dean Dziedzic, vice president at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“It’s very expensive to get into this business, and so many businesses want to use a third-party provider, that companies making the investment in warehousing and logistics are seeing demand for their services.”

If you want to build a big building, there just aren’t any building sites around. There’s dirt, but you have to have the infrastructure – roads and utilities – and that’s what’s out there (Foundation Park).

Dan Afdahl, President, Nordica Warehouses

In addition to Nordica, Lineage Logistics is in expansion mode.

The Michigan-based logistics company is a global industry leader that earlier this year acquired Win Chill, which was the inaugural business at Foundation Park when it opened in 2018.

Lineage Logistics is made up of newer cold chain industry players as well as local and regional family businesses.

Its current expansion will add about 130,000 square feet, bringing the facility to more than 450,000 square feet of freezer storage.


“Their master plan was to get to as much as 800,000 square feet, so they can still put more out there, plus we have additional land to the west, so there would be opportunity to add on to meet demand,” Dziedzic said.

For Nordic, the 500,000 square feet at the Foundation Park operation represents about half of its total warehousing in Sioux Falls. Adding more will require more land.

“If you want to build a big building, there just aren’t any building sites around. There’s dirt, but you have to have the infrastructure – roads and utilities – and that’s what’s out there,” Afdahl said of Foundation Park.

The company’s growth is being driven primarily by new clients, with about 25 percent coming as current customers expand. Nordica specializes in storing cardboard boxes and other raw materials going to manufacturing plants.

What we’re seeing in terms of our development pipeline is interest from bigger users looking for larger parcels and planning more square footage than we’ve historically seen in Sioux Falls.

Dean Dziedzic, Vice President of Economic Development, Sioux Falls Development Foundation


“We’re kind of the only show of that kind for warehousing in the region,“ Afdahl said.

Foundation Park has land available, but it’s being spoken for quickly.

Amazon has its new fulfillment center under construction, and CJ Foods plans to break ground later this year on its food processing facility on the north end of the development park.

There are four sites remaining that have rail access, and more property will be opened up as the north end of the park is developed with infrastructure this year.

“What we’re seeing in terms of our development pipeline is interest from bigger users looking for larger parcels and planning more square footage than we’ve historically seen in Sioux Falls,” Dziedzic said.

“And we are getting thin on nonrail sites, so we do need to expand north of the tracks. We probably can’t get there soon enough. Back in 2015, we were standing on a gravel road looking across the landscape at a lot of cornfields.”

The success of the park likely means additional opportunities for existing businesses that support industry, such as Nordica.

“They’re selling land and developing more land, and they’re bringing in people who all could be customers for me,” Afdahl said. “So I’m glad they’re doing it.”

Forward Sioux Falls Launches Five-Year Campaign with Focus on Future

For nearly 35 years, every five years, Sioux Falls has brought an unparalleled partnership together to invest in moving the community forward.

Forward Sioux Falls is unique in the nation, bringing together the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, the public sector including the city of Sioux Falls and a broad cross-section of private investors from the business community.

This platform — Forward Sioux Falls — has become nationally recognized for creating decades of economic growth and corresponding quality-of-place enhancements, making Sioux Falls the envy of many communities across the country.

But 2020 wasn’t like any other year.

So as community leaders contemplated the next Forward Sioux Falls program, there were decisions to be made.

Co-chairs Dave Flicek, regional president and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center; Paul Hanson, president and CEO of Sanford Sioux Falls; and Dave Rozenboom, president of First Premier Bank; started having conversations.

“They went out and talked to our top 20 to 25 investors, along with community leaders, and said: ‘What do you think? Do we start planning to go forward or look at asking everyone to extend one more year on their five-year investment?’ ” said Tom Micelotta, who facilitated the feasibility study for the campaign through National Community Development Services.

The answer was resounding: A one-year extension wasn’t the answer.

“They said, no, we can’t think of a better time given all the uncertainty to make sure Forward Sioux Falls stays in place,” Micelotta said. “For 34 years, it’s been a great balance between creating jobs, retaining jobs, quality-of-place and workforce development, and we wanted to keep our foot on the gas.”

By July, conversations grew to include 65 companies as a preliminary Forward Sioux Falls plan was in place.

“There was overwhelming support for the plan being exactly what was needed and also that we need to launch the campaign now,” Micelotta said.

Forward Sioux Falls then assembled a record 40-person leadership Cabinet, a diverse group that will help move the process forward with a goal of $15 million in cash investments over the next five years.

40-person leadership cabinet

“There’s always been a balance with Forward Sioux Falls between job creation, diversification, the corresponding population growth that needs to occur and the quality-of-place investment necessary to support that,” said Rozenboom, who also helped lead the previous Forward Sioux Falls campaign.

“We need to be a place where people want to live, and I think Forward Sioux Falls has done an excellent job supporting that and supporting initiatives that make this a place not just where people want to live but work and raise a family as well.”

Since its origin in 1987, Forward Sioux Falls “has helped us chart our course to building a strong community,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken, honorary co-chair.

“The 2026 campaign initiatives will set us up for future success over the next five years in key areas for our community, including housing and workforce development, which remain critical to our continued growth.”

The community has enjoyed a robust and resilient economy for many years and is poised to emerge in a position of strength post-pandemic, TenHaken added.

“To continue that growth, we need to focus on the right investments at the right time for Sioux Falls.”

Here’s a look at some of the key investments proposed by the upcoming Forward Sioux Falls program:

For 34 years, it’s been a great balance between creating jobs, retaining jobs, quality-of-place and workforce development, and we wanted to keep our foot on the gas.

Tom Micelotta

Talent attraction, retention and development

Internal talent training, external talent recruitment and nontraditional workforce recruitment are all strategies currently undertaken by Forward Sioux Falls that will continue in the new five-year program.

Additionally, the Forward Sioux Falls program will partner with the city of Sioux Falls and local and federal housing organizations to establish a fund that will provide resources to address accessible workforce housing needs.

“Accessible housing is on everyone’s list,” Hanson said. “As we look at our employees, and within the community, we’ve had a lot of internal discussions about it.”

Sioux Falls can continue to attract jobs, “but if we don’t have places to live, it will be hard to support people to be employed in them,” Flicek added.

Business retention, expansion and attraction

Forward Sioux Falls also invests in supporting business retention, assisting local companies with expansion opportunities, including state programs, international trade, licensing, workforce and financing programs.

Additionally, it pursues a comprehensive marketing program to target industries, companies, site selectors and other professionals.

“One of the things I heard overwhelmingly in conversations leading up to this campaign was that our investors support aligned strategies for growth and development, for workforce and for bringing more people to our service area,” Hanson said. “There isn’t one item we’ve talked about that doesn’t benefit all of us.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship

A signature project to drive innovation in the coming five years is a proposed cyber/IT park, which will receive seed funding from Forward Sioux Falls.

It’s envisioned as a partnership between Dakota State University and the city of Sioux Falls to create a cyber/IT campus.

“We’re really excited about exploring that relationship, and I think we’ll be good for each other, and there’s significant need in our community to build out those resources,” Rozenboom said.

Forward Sioux Falls also will continue to assist with operating support and, more importantly, to provide funding to target bioscience firms to locate in the USD Discovery District.

Additionally, program support for the entrepreneurial community and funding to expand initiatives for the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship are planned.

Business advocacy, airport and quality-of-place enhancement

Forward Sioux Falls historically has supported quality-of-place initiatives and the continued effort to market and attract air service in Sioux Falls – both priorities that continue in the new plan.

Additionally, an Innovation Center of Excellence is proposed as a new center within the Chamber of Commerce to deliver programming through public-private partnerships focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“The workforce of tomorrow in Sioux Falls will look different than the workforce of yesterday,” Rozenboom said.

“It’s important we continue to embrace the diversity occurring in our community, with a focus on our K-12 schools and those pursuing post-secondary education. Exposing students and adults to opportunities that prepare them for their next step in life allows them to contribute most productively to our community.”

The outcomes

How will the next Forward Sioux Falls program measure success? Here’s a look at some of the key outcomes by 2026:

  • 1,000 new housing units from the Housing Fund.
  • 25,000 new residents.
  • 12 ongoing talent/workforce recruitment programs.
  • 250 post-secondary recruitment partners.
  • 1,000 apprenticeships/internships/job shadows.
  • 4,500 new direct jobs at above median wage.
  • $500 million in new capital investments.
  • $250 million in new property tax revenue.
  • 300-plus acres sold and developed.
  • 300 existing companies assisted.
  • 30 foreign trade relationships formed.
  • 35-plus site selector/broker events.
  • 75-plus companies hosted.
  • 30,000 direct workforce contacts.
  • 250,000 electronic workforce exposures.

The current program also includes a refreshed Future Sioux Falls strategic plan, which will take a comprehensive, long-term look at the metro area’s needs and opportunities.

“This will be a really energizing look at our future, and there will be an opportunity for broad-based community input,” Rozenboom said.

Forward Sioux Falls has a record to show it can achieve ambitious goals.

Since 1987, the number of jobs in the Sioux Falls MSA has increased from 67,100 to 159,900 in 2019 – 238 percent growth. During that same time period, the metro area has experienced a population growth of 143,000 net new residents, a 215 percent increase.

Sioux Falls has been named the No. 1 small city for business and careers by Forbes 12 of the past 20 years.

“This is a true example of a partnership between public and private, and it works very well,” Hanson said.

Businesses told the campaign leaders what makes Sioux Falls unique is “we don’t build a moat,” Flicek added. “We allow other businesses to come in, and expand and grow the whole pie.”

There was overwhelming resolve that Sioux Falls always moves forward, no matter what’s happening elsewhere, he continued.

“What’s unique about Forward Sioux Falls is it’s a central repository of ideas, as opposed to each of our businesses making up our own ideas. Paul and I are professional colleagues. We compete for health care, but we want to prosper Sioux Falls. So organizations like Forward Sioux Falls bringing common solutions to our problems is what makes it so successful.’

And the current campaign already has attracted one new resident – consultant Micelotta, who moved to Sioux Falls from Florida during 2020.

“I drank the Kool-Aid,” he said. “I live here now. So I’m a big proponent of it all. People ask me what’s so special. It’s the people. Look at our three leaders and honorary chair, the mayor. I wish I could bottle it and sell it to other communities.”

Businesses will be hearing directly from Forward Sioux Falls in the weeks ahead, but to get connected right away, contact Mike Lynch, director of investor relations, at 605-373-2008, and visit

CJ Foods USA to Build World-Class Asian Food Production Facility in South Dakota

Major project to bring 600-plus new, full-time jobs to Sioux Falls, S.D.

(Los Angeles, Calif. — Jan. 11, 2021)  CJ Foods USA Inc. (CJ Foods), a U.S.-based affiliate of global lifestyle company CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ), today announced its plans to build a new 700,000-square-foot Asian food production facility in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The new facility, planned for Foundation Park in Sioux Falls, will result in more than 600 new full-time jobs by 2025 and include automated state-of-the-art food production lines, a warehouse and distribution center, shipping and receiving docks, and office space. The project will represent an overall investment of several hundred million dollars over the course of construction and will be funded through operating cash flow. Further investments in the facility’s capabilities will be made as demand increases over the next several years.

All foods made at the production facility will be sold and distributed by CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company, a fellow U.S.-based affiliate of CJ Foods. Once complete, people working at the facility will focus on making a broad range of Asian-style meals, sides, snacks and appetizers in the shelf-stable and frozen categories. The new South Dakota facility will represent an expansion of CJCJ’s Asian food production capabilities in North America, with CJ Foods already operating five Asian-style food plants in California, Ohio, New York and New Jersey and Schwan’s Company operating two in Texas.

“This strategically important new investment represents an extremely exciting time for both CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company,” said Executive Chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas and Schwan’s Company CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios.  “Adding this world-class Asian food plant in South Dakota will help us lead the fast-growing Asian food category in North America and achieve our long-term growth plans. Ultimately, this plant will meet the increasing needs of our retail and food-service customers by creating significant production capacity, fueling Asian food category growth, and enabling future innovation.”

“We thank state and local officials in South Dakota for helping to bring this project to Sioux Falls. We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship that will be mutually beneficial for CJCJ’s family of businesses and the residents of South Dakota,” added Smyrnios.


This strategically important new investment represents an extremely exciting time for both CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company

Dimitrios Smyrnios, Executive Chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas and Schwan’s Company CEO

Investing in Asian Food Marketplace Growth

CJ Foods is investing in the new Asian-food facility to support it and Schwan’s Company’s growth initiatives in the retail and food-service markets in North America. The two companies offer several Asian-style brands in both the food-service and retail sectors, including Bibigo®, Pagoda®, Kahiki®, Minh® and Annie Chun’s® foods.

Asian food is extraordinarily popular in the United States alone, representing a more than $38 billion industry across retail stores and food-service venues, which includes 70,000 Asian-style restaurants. Worldwide, the cuisine’s popularity is growing rapidly as consumers increasingly embrace more global flavors. In a recent study by Technomic®, a leading consulting and research firm, 23 percent of global food consumers say they are preparing more global flavors at home than two years ago. This rate was at 39 percent with millennials, according to the study.

“The growth and popularity of Asian cuisine is something we expect to continue unabated over the coming years, especially as consumers have the opportunity to increasingly experience high-quality, authentic global foods when dining out or preparing meals at home,” said Smyrnios. “We are excited to work with our retail and food-service customers to expand the Asian food category and create great consumer experiences.”

Working with South Dakota Public Officials

To help facilitate the project, company leaders from CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company worked with state and local public agencies and officials in South Dakota, including: Gov. Kristi Noem; Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Commissioner Steve Westra; Sioux Falls Development Foundation CEO & President Bob Mundt; and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken.

“South Dakota is open for business, and we’re excited for this tremendous investment in our state. The Sioux Falls community will benefit greatly from the new full-time jobs that this facility will provide,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “I want to thank Dimitrios and everyone at CJ Foods and Schwan’s who worked with us to make this happen.”

Groundbreaking Event in Sioux Falls Planned for Spring 2021

More details about the specific products and brands that will be made at the facility, as well as renderings and more specific construction timelines, are expected to be shared at an event at the Sioux Falls site of the future plant in the spring. Event attendees will include CJ Foods and Schwan’s Company leaders as well as South Dakota public officials.

About CJ Foods

CJ Foods USA Inc. is a U.S. affiliate of global lifestyle company CJ CheilJedang. Since its opening in 1978, CJ Foods has quickly become a major manufacturer and distributor of Asian food products with a focus on Korean food. Through brands like Bibigo® and Annie Chun’s®, the company offers an extensive range of packaged food products, including dumplings, noodles and sauces. Backed by a global company with more than 60 years of experience in the food industry, CJ Foods’ mission is to drive awareness of Asian food, especially Korean food, and provide only the best quality products to U.S. households across the nation. To learn more about CJ Foods, visit

About Schwan’s Company 

Based in Minnesota, Schwan’s Company is a leading U.S.-based manufacturer and marketer of quality foods offered through retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®, Big Daddy’s®, Villa Prima™ and Freschetta® pizza, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts and Pagoda® Asian-style snacks. The company is an affiliate of global lifestyle company, CJ CheilJedang. To learn more about Schwan’s Company, visit

About CJ CheilJedang 

CJ CheilJedang is the core subsidiary in charge of the food and bio business sectors of the CJ Group. It has led the development of the Korean food industry for the past 60 years and contributed to the development of the bio industry as the nation’s top food company. Launched in 1953 as a food ingredient company, CJ CheilJedang has expanded its business to processed foods. CJ CheilJedang has achieved outstanding growth, quantitatively and qualitatively, in food processing and food ingredients in the food business sector, as well as in the bio business sector. The company is striving to go beyond being the No. 1 in Korea to becoming a global leader in each business sector. CJ CheilJedang will continue to grow and evolve in the food & bio sectors by practicing the spirit of OnlyOne and develop into a global lifestyle company. To learn more about CJCheilJedang, visit

Media Contact:  Mike Smith, VP of PR & Communications,  507-537-8550,

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