4th Quarter Directions Newsletter

2023 Chairman’s Message

Past Chair’s Message

Development Foundation starts new era of real estate development

Land Acquisitions

New Neighbors

Vision Sioux Falls to Establish Roadmap for our community



WIN in Workforce Summit 2022’s Fifth Anniversary Sets Record for Onsite Attendance

Win in Workforce Summit 2022 brought record onsite attendance as talent and workforce initiatives remain an important issue globally.

“We are very appreciative and grateful for the tremendous response from attendees and organizations supporting WIN in Workforce Summit 2022,” said Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “We continue to build on a great initiative started in 2018 by the Talent and Workforce Committee with a simple desire to engage and share the best talent and workforce practices within our region. In 2022, we had nearly 800 people in attendance, and we are excited to start planning for WIN 2023.”

“Business and community leaders engaging each other in sessions about workforce-related topics covering culture, collegiate engagement, sustainability, and others illustrates why Sioux Falls is a great community,” says Bob Mundt, President and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Special thanks to all organizations investing financially in WIN 2022, including Avera, City of Sioux Falls, First Bank & Trust, Forward Sioux Falls, Journey Group, MidAmerican Energy, Sanford Health, Sayre Associates, University of Sioux Falls, and Xcel Energy.

Talent engagement helps soon-to-be graduates with employment opportunities

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Career Connections program hosted Talent Tours for City and Industry with 16 employer partners on December 7, 2022, to share high-demand jobs with soon-to-be graduates.

With nearly 200 high school seniors from Brandon Valley High and Washington High School involved, students chose between different career tracks involving health care, manufacturing, construction, and local government, to gain valuable connections and resources for jobs related to their chosen career path.

The program connects students with business and community leaders during four separate 60-minute group tours to help students figure out their next steps after graduation in May 2023. From students participating in time drills to dress in protective fire gear, watching a suppression hearing about lawful searches, to building an HVAC system to support 500 occupants in a commercial building, students asked questions from experts about what their daily work involves.

“I participated in the government track and had no idea about the background and qualifications of fire personnel. This visit helped me understand how my interests in chemistry could be applied to a career,” said Hannah, a Brandon Valley senior graduating in May 2023.

“Hannah’s experience is normal,” says Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “ We created Career Connections to combine career and educational exposure and exploration, leading to viable career opportunities available to students in the Sioux Falls region. “We know from long-term studies conducted by the U.S. government that high schoolers ages 16-19 years participating in career exposure and exploration programs have higher wages at 23 and gain higher quality jobs by 30 than their peers who were not exposed, by helping to shape their career journeys.”

Studies have also reported that students participating in career exposure and exploration programs gain critical thinking skills and self-esteem through research, business engagement, and focusing on areas of strength.

For more information about talent development programs, please get in touch with Denise Guzzetta at 605-595-4355.

Vision Sioux Falls to Establish Roadmap for Our Community

By Mike Lynch

Work has begun on Vision Sioux Falls, a long-range, community-wide strategic plan that will provide a blueprint for moving our community forward for the next ten years.

Forward Sioux Falls is collaborating with the City of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, and the Sioux Falls School District. The objective for Vision Sioux Falls is to be inspirational in designing a meaningful roadmap that will capitalize on the unprecedented momentum we have experienced as a community.

Omaha-based consulting firm RDG Planning & Design has been hired to coordinate the plan, which will focus on quality-of-life attributes within focus areas including the following:

  • Arts/Entertainment/Recreation/Leisure
  • Education/Training/Workforce
  • Health & Human Services
  • Housing
  • City Image/Marketing
  • Public Safety

To date, a public engagement plan has included surveys, listening sessions, community roundtables and one-on-one interviews. Several other opportunities for the public to participate will be offered over the next few months. A dynamic website, found here, is designed to track the plan’s progress, promote upcoming events and allow individuals to provide input using an interactive map. Feedback collected will be progressively evaluated to determine what gaps or trends rise to the top. Ultimately, action items will be identified, stakeholders named, and metrics determined.

A Community Allies committee, comprised of individuals within underserved areas of our community, serves as a bridge to conversations within marginalized populations. In addition, a Strategic Council includes representatives from a wide base of perspective from within the community. These individuals are meeting several times throughout the planning process to provide insight on priorities that focus on three key elements: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

The strategic plan is scheduled to be completed by late spring 2023.

New neighbors

By: Karen Ruhland

Questions often arise in meetings, casual conversations, and formal requests as to where people come from and why they choose the area. Consider your own story, and often the answers aren’t too different.

Family, friends, education, opportunity, and careers answer the majority of the why’s. Add in quality of life, cost of living, and healthcare as important factors for others.

In terms of where our new metro area neighbors are coming from . . . Census data and the IRS can provide migration stats, moving companies and residential closings are additional sources. Conversations with new co-workers, neighbors, or friends of friends provide additional narrative and interesting stories.

So, what are all these sources telling us?

According to IRS county-based statistics, 4,500 individual tax returns that listed an out-of-state address in 2019 listed a Sioux Falls metro area address in 2020. While the majority of these come from our neighboring states, 104 came from Maricopa County in the Phoenix metro, 65 from two counties in the Los Angeles area, 41 from Clark County in the Las Vegas metro, and just shy of that from Seattle’s King County, Colorado Springs’ El Paso County and Chicago’s Cook County.

On a regional basis, new residents come from the Twin Cities, southwest Minnesota, Sioux City, northwest Iowa, Omaha, Fargo, Des Moines, and Lincoln in descending order based on IRS County-to-County Migration.

Year to date residential closings from one of our member organizations, First Dakota Title, indicate similar trends continued in 2022 with most of the movement coming from the Twin Cities, Omaha and Lincoln, different communities in Iowa, Seattle, and various metros in Colorado.

A quick look at the Foundation’s Board and Staff shows the vast majority are native South Dakotans with a handful of Nebraskans, Minnesotans and Iowans filling out the ranks and a few outliers. Where they received the education shows more diversity; about 40% obtained their undergraduate degrees out-of-state indicating most moved back or received their education in the area and stayed.

One block of residents currently living in southeast Sioux Falls encompasses even more diversity: two families originally from eastern Europe via way of Arizona and Iowa; natives of Colorado, California, Minnesota, and Iowa; South Dakotans from west river and Aberdeen and life-long Sioux Falls residents.

Stories the Foundation has posted recently tell of new residents from Portland, Detroit, Atlanta, Virginia, Alaska, and California; and why they moved here.

Sioux Falls and the surrounding towns will always be a draw for residents from southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southwest Minnesota. Attracting individuals and families from further afar will continue as well. Quality of life and opportunity are attributes, and the Foundation continues efforts to spread the word.

You can help! Invite your friends and relatives to check out the area, explore career opportunities available here, and connect them with your network of business contacts. Encourage high schoolers to explore the education offerings in our region. Encourage the college set to explore internship opportunities here and connect with our INTERN Sioux Falls Coordinator. Tout South Dakota tax advantages, healthcare options, and the plethora of activities available to the out-of-state soon-to-be retirees you know.

The Development Foundation can help make connections!

Disclaimer: Information provided by First Dakota Title does not include confidential information such as names of specific addresses.

Land Acquisitions

Foundation Park continues to grow, not only with new tenants but with more developable acres of land. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation recently executed agreements and will be closing on 70 acres that will expand the industrial park boundary to the north. Any time you can acquire additional land that is contiguous to an existing park development it becomes very cost effective. These 70 acres will utilize the infrastructure that is being extended in the next 12-18 months to service all of Foundation Park north of the railroad tracks. This will bring the total overall developable land in Foundation Park to 926 acres.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation also closed on 135 acres east of I-29 in October. This land, directly east of Foundation Park, became available in early 2022. It made sense for the Foundation to acquire the land as inventory for future development. The most important aspect of this land is that is resides in the same sewer basin as Foundation Park and will be served by the existing lift station installed for Foundation Park. The Development Foundation plans to work through the annexation process with the City and begin master planning. It’s realistic to see development in this area in the next 3-5 years.

land purchases map

Development Foundation starts new era of real estate development

Historically, the Development Foundation has acquired farmland on the northern edges of Sioux Falls and invested in infrastructure to transform the land into business and industrial parks. These investments ultimately facilitated the creation of tens of thousands of jobs for the greater Sioux Falls region.

Development Foundation staff members take pride in managing the inventory of industrial acres available so as to always be prepared when existing area businesses are ready to expand and when new businesses look to relocate to Sioux Falls. Over the years, Sioux Falls, the surrounding communities, private businesses, and most importantly, our residents, have benefited from these efforts. Those benefits include finding meaningful employment, raising a family, growing a business, and pursuing a high quality of life here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Our mission “to collaboratively create quality economic growth and workforce development in the Sioux Falls MSA to improve our quality of life” will continue to guide (and drive) these efforts forward into the future.

As evidenced above, the Development Foundation has a long successful history in strategically developing real estate to accomplish specific goals. In quarter four of 2022, in partnership with Mayor TenHaken, Chief of Staff Erica Beck, Director of Planning & Development Services Jeff Eckhoff, and the Development Foundation’s Executive Board members Kurt Loundenback, Pat Costello, Steve Kolbeck, Ryan Boschee, and Kent Cutler, the Foundation identified an opportunity to leverage our institutional expertise, knowledge, and partnerships to strategically accomplish new goals. Goals that include supporting the community’s housing plan, slowing development sprawl, increasing land use efficiency, and ultimately keeping the Sioux Falls area investable for decades into the future. In order to preserve our mission and honor the storied legacy of the Development Foundation, this expanded scope of strategic land development will be operated by the newly formed Falls Area Development Corporation in partnership with the Development Foundation.

The Development Foundation is excited to begin a new era of real estate development for the betterment of our community and region. The Sioux Falls area has consistently achieved success for a litany of reasons, but the most important reason can be found in the mantra of our partner, Forward Sioux Falls: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Transformational accomplishments for our community can only be achieved when private businesses, governmental bodies, and non-profits pause from competition and unite towards common goals. Our land development efforts, for both Sioux Falls Development Foundation and now Falls Area Development Corporation, rely on partnerships to be successful. We will achieve more by acting together, and we look forward to continuing to build successful partnerships in the future.

Past Chair’s Message

By Kurt Loudenback, President, Grand Prairie Foods, Inc.

2022 has been a year of resiliency and recovery. Our community has emerged stronger and more resilient as we have dealt with some crazy economic challenges over the last 2 years. Despite all of the headwinds we have faced, The Foundation has had another good year of land sales, prospect development and connection between workforce candidates and our members. We are collectively in a good spot to take advantage of continued interest in our state and region while addressing the need for expanding a skilled workforce.

Through various partnerships with both the public and private sectors, the Foundation is positioned to provide valued services to our members, our clients, and our community. Board identified priorities including business retention and expansion, business attraction, and workforce and talent development remain key focus areas. Foundation leaders created a plan centered around these areas three years ago and we have been executing on strategies and programs developed to address these needs.

Partnerships with existing companies looking to grow in the Sioux Falls region have increased dramatically. The Foundation’s Business Retention & Expansion initiative has paid dividends with several expansions. Additionally, the Foundation continues to work with the City of Sioux Falls on expansion projects and infrastructure developments.

Our Business Attraction efforts have resulted in land sales in Foundation Park and Sioux Empire Development Park 8; and we have implemented new and creative marketing techniques to promote the area. Our partnership with local brokers to tap into their national networks has created additional interest from companies across the country.

We have implemented new programs to identify and attract talent to the region and build up our talent from within. Many of our events are both in-person as well as virtual, allowing us to expand our reach far beyond our borders. Our WIN in Workforce Summit in October brought nearly 800 HR professionals, educators, and industry leaders together to share new ideas and best practices for successful talent recruitment, development, and retention. Talent Tours, Talent Rebound events and Talent Draft Day incorporate both in-person and virtual formats, resulting in hundreds of connections between local employers, high school, and post-secondary students to promote the benefits of living and working in Sioux Falls.

We will continue to employ these strategies and programs in 2023 and will continue to have success in growing our region. While these are challenging times in growing our workforce, we believe our efforts will have far-reaching effects on the future growth and sustainability of our region.

The message that Sioux Falls and South Dakota are the best place to own a business, raise a family, and be a young professional are becoming clear. In 2021, Sioux Falls welcomed 7,000 new residents. People are choosing to relocate here because of the quality of life that our community offers: great schools, parks, dining and entertainment, and economic opportunity. In 2023, we’ll be sharing that message with new prospects and potential residents.

It has been a pleasure serving as the Chair of the Board during 2022 and I leave this organization in good hands. Thanks to all of you who have made the Foundation the great economic engine that it is. The Board of Directors and leadership team appreciate your support and hope to continue serving you as members of the Foundation. THANK YOU and have a prosperous 2023.

2023 Chairman’s Message

By Steve Kolbeck, Principal Manager, Xcel Energy South Dakota

What a great honor it is to be taking the helm of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation at a time of tremendous change and challenges. As the premier economic development organization in the region, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has positioned itself to successfully meet those challenges.

Under past leadership, the Foundation has literally paved the way for business and industrial growth in the region by creating the Foundation Park mega site, recruiting thousands of new jobs and dozens of new companies, and creating a workforce recruitment model that is second to none. Past leadership has leveraged the cooperative spirit of Sioux Falls to finance these opportunities, create an aggressive marketing plan and create an environment of success in the region.

I want to thank Kurt Loudenback, Pat Costello, Todd Ernst and Tim McCarthy for their leadership over the past six years and welcome our three new Board members – Scott Wickersham, Raquel Blount and Chris Ekstrum – to the Board. I look forward to working with all of you to continue leading this community.

So what’s ahead in 2023?

  • Completion of grading and infrastructure development within Foundation Park North and Park 8 West including streets, sewers, water, power, and lot development.
  • Construction of the CJ Foods facility and more projects in Foundation Park.
  • Expected sales of 100 more acres in Foundation Park.
  • Full scale operation of Amazon & FedEx in Foundation Park South.
  • Construction of Presidio Manufacturing and the National Guard Readiness facility in Park 8 East.
  • Expansion of several existing companies that are currently in the planning process.
  • Implementation of the Falls Area Development Corporation and redevelopment of targeted areas for workforce housing opportunities.
  • Continuation and expansion of Workforce Initiatives with our State and local partners.
  • Strong marketing to site selectors, brokers, and workforce partners.
  • Opening of the Startup Sioux Falls Center in downtown Sioux Falls.
  • Opening of the Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center at Southeast Technical College.
  • Continuous efforts to develop a strong quality of life in the region.

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is proud to be leading these efforts and programs and we sincerely appreciate each one of you for your talents, your business, and your involvement in our community. I look forward to serving you as your Chair. Please continue to be a part of this great organization.

Have a great 2023.

A look back at our fall 2022 groundbreakings

While there’s snow on the ground now, we’re reflecting on some great fall groundbreakings!

For nearly seven decades, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has hosted groundbreakings and helped organizations in our community commemorate new chapters of growth and success.

Take a look back at the groundbreakings we hosted this fall. Learn about each project and groundbreaking below!

Maguire Iron

Maguire Iron broke ground on a new headquarters in northeast Sioux Falls.

L to R: Brian Cooper, Scott Jones – President, Gene Jones, Jr. – CEO, Troy Werdel, Dan Engelsman, Diep Doan, Jamie Mays, and Mike Farnsworth.

The Docks – Great Hall Properties

Great Hall Properties broke ground on a 200,000 square foot industrial space in northwest Sioux Falls.

L to R: Bob Adams, Kurt Loudenback, Scott Lawrence, Rick Berg – President, Rob Fagnan, Dirk Lenthe, Chris Tyre, Michael Casper, Councilor Pat Starr.

2022 Spirit of Sioux Falls Honoree: Mark Shlanta

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation posthumously honored Mark Shlanta, longtime CEO of SDN Communications, with its ‘Spirit of Sioux Falls’ Award at their 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 17.

The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the economic growth and development of Sioux Falls. The award honors the memory of former Development Foundation staff and board members David Birkeland, Angus Anson, and Roger Hainje, who perished along with Governor George Mickelson and other state officials and staff in 1993 as they returned from an economic development mission.

“Mark gave selflessly of himself to the greater cause of improving our community,” Foundation Board Chairman Kurt Loudenback said. “His commitment to economic development has helped to make Sioux Falls a model for public and private partnership in the spirit of the greater good. He was an example for others to put the community ahead of a personal agenda.”

In addition to his work at SDN, Shlanta chaired the Development Foundation board from 2008-2009 and was chair of the Forward Sioux Falls Joint Venture Management Committee from 2011-2016. He also co-chaired two capital campaigns for Forward Sioux Falls and one for the Boy Scouts. He was active in many other areas of the community, including serving on the board of directors for both South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Bishop O’Gorman Catholic Schools.

Spirit of Sioux Falls Award 2022: Mark Shlanta

Summit focuses on best practices in workforce development

From hiring to retaining top talent, it is a challenging time to be building your workforce. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s annual WIN in Workforce Summit will bring together business leaders and experts for a day focused on workforce strategies that can be put to immediate use.

The WIN in Workforce Summit will be held Wednesday, October 26, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Human resource professionals and leaders at all levels of an organization will find opportunities to learn from others who are finding ways to create talented teams and take their businesses to new levels of success.

The event will kick off with an inspirational message from Justin Forsett, a former NFL running back turned Shark Tank entrepreneur. Forsett shares his story of going from poverty to peak performance in sports and business.

Additional sessions include panel discussions on attracting new entry-level employees, talent development, talent retention to address employee burnout, and today’s workforce issues, such as hybrid workplaces and change management.

The registration fee is $89 and includes a networking lunch. SHRM members will be eligible for up to nine Personal Development Credits for attending the 2022 WIN in Workforce Summit. Find more information and register online at www.wininworkforce.com.

Sioux Falls Development Foundation welcomes Claire Herbst

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is pleased to welcome our newest team member – Claire Herbst! Claire joins us as the talent recruitment coordinator.

Claire grew up in Sioux City, IA, and attended the University of South Dakota to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in accounting, along with a minor in legal studies in business and a certificate in inclusive leadership. During her college years, she held internships with the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company, as well as First Dakota Title.

Following completion of her degree, Claire began her career at PREMIER Bankcard as an accountant. She then joined the Sioux Falls Development Foundation as the Talent Recruitment Coordinator in September 2022.

In her role, she will be working in collaboration with area businesses and regional education institutions to source, attract, and match talented students with available internship opportunities in the Sioux Falls region.

Outside of her work with SFDF, Claire is a chapter advisor for USD’s chapter of Alpha Phi and is an active member of the Sioux Falls Young Professionals Network.

President’s Report: When Good Plans Come Together

In the summer of 2021, the Development Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce (co-owners of the Zeal building on Southeast Tech’s campus) walked forward discussions with Startup Sioux Falls regarding the organization moving downtown to better “fit” the needs of the region’s entrepreneurial community.

After conversations with the City of Sioux Falls regarding the former Parks and Rec building located next to the Levitt downtown, it was decided the building would be an excellent location for the new model of Startup Sioux Falls. Concurrently, we began having conversations with Southeast Tech about the transition of the Zeal building to a new facility that could assist in training needs for more healthcare professionals. The concept of the Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center was born.

The development of this concept would allow Southeast Tech to expand their health sciences programming, providing hundreds of new health sciences graduates (including nurses) to help fill the needs of our medical and health sciences community.

Working in partnership with the Development Foundation, the Chamber, the City of Sioux Falls, Startup Sioux Falls, the state legislature, Avera and Sanford, the plan included obtaining a lease agreement with the City for the Parks and Rec building, obtaining funding for the build out of both facilities and obtaining funds from the state legislature for equipment in the new simulation center. In addition, the project needed additional funding from Forward Sioux Falls to make the lease/purchase arrangement of the Zeal building by Southeast Tech possible.

During the winter of 2021-22, the partnership was successful in obtaining a lease from the City for the P&R building, obtaining funding for the buildout of the Zeal building, obtaining funding for the equipment, and gaining a commitment from Forward Sioux Falls for lease payment assistance.

In the spring of 2022, the Sioux Falls School Board approved a lease of the Zeal building, sealing the dream of moving the Startup Sioux Falls Community into a newly renovated facility in downtown Sioux Falls and creating the Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center at Southeast Technical College.

Design and construction is currently underway at both facilities, with Startup Sioux Falls planning a January opening and the Simulation Center targeting fall of 2023 as their opening date.

Sioux Falls and Forward Sioux Falls are well known for their strategic visions, but even better known for turning those visions into reality. This is a perfect example of organizations coming together for the betterment of the community and the long-term success of all organizations involved. In short…we love it when a plan comes together.

Chairman’s Report: Planning and Progress

By: Kurt Loudenback

Every fall the Sioux Falls Development Foundation Board of Directors takes a half day to review what has been done the past year and what opportunities exist for the upcoming year and beyond. We look at where we’ve been and where we’d like to go as we continue working with our partners to chart sustainable growth in the Sioux Falls region into the future.

2022 has been filled with great success stories including selling and purchasing property. We’re developing Foundation Park North including grading, street and utility construction, and general planning to make those sites build-ready, a proven asset when attracting new investment by prospective employers. The City has played a huge role as well in building out Marion Road to the Renner/Crooks highway, literally paving the way for growth in that region.

All of the land in Sioux Empire Park 8 East is now sold and the grading, infrastructure and street construction of Bahnson Avenue, north of Benson Road, is nearly complete — opening 150+ acres for development in Park 8 West.

Our workforce initiatives are constantly expanding to include more ways to connect our business community with the workforce they need. Our talent initiatives target university and tech school students and alumni within 120 miles of Sioux Falls with programs like Talent Draft, Talent Rebound, Talent Thursdays and INTERN Sioux Falls. High school and middle school students are targeted with Career Connections and STEM programming, while existing employers are invited to participate in our UPSKILL Sioux Falls programming to move people up within their companies. We encourage you to connect with the Development Foundation to take advantage of these programs that will help you attract and retain quality employees.

Our WORK Sioux Falls marketing campaign has allowed us to reach markets in California, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota to attract people looking to make a change by allowing them direct access to Sioux Falls area company job websites via www.siouxfalls.com/work. Over 3,000 direct connections have been made between local employers and potential employees in these markets.

All this success was an outcome of our planning process last fall and will be reviewed for effectiveness and adjustments at our upcoming planning session. As we move into 2023, your Development Foundation board and staff will generate new ideas on business attraction, retention and expansion.

Although the future can’t be predicted, the Foundation can be prepared. We hope you appreciate this work being done by the team and are benefitting from our efforts to improve the economic vitality of the Sioux Falls region. Thank you for being a member and an investor.