Your Future STEM Summer Day Camps at Augustana University

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation will host its second annual “Your Future STEM Summer Day Camps” at Augustana University on June 26 and 27.

The Your Future STEM Summer Day Camps will welcome over 200 middle school students on campus for an immersive, project-based learning experience. Under the guidance of experienced educators and industry professionals, the students will delve into various fields, including biology, computer science, construction, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing.

These camps, a part of the popular Your Future STEM project-based programming series specifically designed for middle school students, enhance their awareness of high-paying, high-skilled STEM-related careers that are crucial to the overall health of the Sioux Falls economy and region.

Since 2019, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, a key player in the region, has forged partnerships with 16 regional school districts to bolster STEM awareness. This initiative supports the burgeoning employment needs in healthcare, computer and management occupations, financial services, and construction sectors, all of which are experiencing double-digit growth.

Denise Guzzetta, the Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, emphasizes the importance of STEM jobs in our economy. She states, “STEM jobs are here to stay. They play a vital role in our economy today and will continue to be important into the future due to high growth and the need to replace retiring workers.”

INTERN Sioux Falls: A Summer of Growth and Exploration

The INTERN Sioux Falls program is back for its second summer, offering a unique opportunity for interns in Sioux Falls. From June 4 to July 31, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation will host six events designed to immerse interns in the vibrant Sioux Falls community and showcase the exciting opportunities awaiting them.

These meticulously planned events facilitate networking among interns and their peers from various employers across the Sioux Falls community.

The program kicked off on June 4 with a “Lunch & Learn with YPN” event, which aimed to foster peer connections and provide information about diverse opportunities available to young professionals.

On June 13, in partnership with the Sioux Empire United Way, the INTERN Sioux Falls team demonstrated the community’s philanthropic spirit. Interns assembled 200 hygiene bags for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, making a tangible difference in the lives of Sioux Falls residents.

The INTERN Sioux Falls team will host a private networking event for interns at the Birdcage on June 18, during which they can cheer on the Sioux Falls Canaries.

On July 9, interns will have the opportunity to explore downtown Sioux Falls through a scavenger hunt, leading them to various landmarks, businesses, and locations.

July 17 will feature a networking lunch at Startup Sioux Falls, where interns can learn about business resources available to entrepreneurs from the Startup Sioux Falls team. They will also have the opportunity to learn how to best utilize LinkedIn and receive a free professional headshot.

The summer program will culminate on July 23 with a grand event at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. This event will bring together all interns and business professionals to celebrate the successful completion of the summer internships.

The INTERN Sioux Falls program is more than just a summer internship; it’s a journey of exploration, growth, and community immersion. Through a diverse range of events and experiences, interns gain valuable professional insights and forge lasting connections and memories that will stay with them long after the summer sun sets over the plains of South Dakota.

To learn more about the INTERN Sioux Falls program, click here.

Superbowl Champion Turned Culture Advocate Leads WIN in Workforce Summit 2024 on September 24, 2024

We are excited to announce that Ben Utecht, former NFL player turned award-winning songwriter and culture advocate, will be the keynote speaker at the WIN in Workforce Summit 2024 on September 24, 2024, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Utecht’s journey is a testament to resilience and transformation. From a successful career in the NFL, including a Super Bowl victory with the Indianapolis Colts, to a life-altering brain injury, Utecht’s story is one of overcoming adversity. This unique opportunity to learn from his journey, at the WIN in Workforce Summit 2024, is sure to inspire and motivate all attendees.

Despite the challenges posed by his injury, Utecht channeled his passion into music, becoming an award-winning songwriter and culture advocate. His songs have touched many hearts and have earned him recognition in the music industry.

Utecht’s influence extends beyond his music career. He has become a beacon of hope, advocating for a positive and inclusive culture in the workplace. His keynote, Believe in Culture, at the WIN in Workforce Summit 2024, will ignite a sense of optimism and possibility in all attendees, showing the power of culture in driving organizational success.

For more information on WIN in Workforce, click here.

Tickets for the event are now available for both individuals and groups. We encourage early booking to secure your spot and take part in this unique opportunity to learn from one of the most influential figures in team dynamics and leadership.

Join us at the WIN in Workforce Summit 2024 for an enlightening experience that promises to reshape how you view your workforce. Secure your tickets today and mark your calendar for an event you won’t want to miss!

Groundbreakings – 2nd Quarter 2024

The melting of the snow and the warming of the temperatures signals the long-awaited arrival of spring and summer. With that comes an exciting opportunity for businesses to start construction on new locations and expansions. The Foundation helped several local businesses and organizations celebrate the start of some exciting new building projects, hosting seven groundbreakings in the second quarter of 2024.

See photos and recaps of each groundbreaking that took place!

LifeScape Children’s Campus

LifeScape broke ground on their new children’s campus in northwest Sioux Falls. The new facility will encompass their pediatric specialty hospital, inpatient and intensive outpatient therapy, the specialty school, children’s residential area, recreation space, and administration space.

L to R: Jason Schmitz, Stacy McMahan, Chip Carlson, Bob McNaney, Shelly Johnson, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Sen. John Thune, Dave Billion, Steve Watkins (President and CEO, LifeScape), Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden and Jessica Wells.

Big Lost Meadery and Ranch & Roost

Big Lost Meadery and Ranch & Roost broke ground on their new location on Lake Lorraine in Sioux Falls. The restaurant is expanding from Gillette, Wyo., and will serve handcrafted mead, chicken sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and sides.

L to R: Sam Clikeman (Managing Member), Bob Hewitt-Gaffney, Ryan Boschee, Aaron Cannon, Kelly Cannon, Steve Van Buskirk, Scott Lawrence, and Councilor Marshall Selberg.

Boys & Girls Club Addition at McGovern Middle School

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire celebrated a groundbreaking on a new club at McGovern Middle School that will provide new services and opportunities for George McGovern students and their families after school, on non-school days and weekdays during the summer months.

L to R: Steve Hildebrand, Kent Cutler, Scott Lawrence, Jeff Eckhoff, Loren Boyens, Stacy Jones (CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire), Tim Koehler, Carly Reiter, and Dr. Jane Stavem.

Dakota State University Applied Research Lab

Dakota State University broke ground on their Applied Research Lab in Sioux Falls. The facility will be an expansion of the physical facilities that house DSU’s cyber-research initiative and will create workforce and economic development opportunities.

L to R: Bill Gassen, Bob Mundt, Andrea Thompson, Dr. José-Marie Griffiths (President, Dakota State University), Scott Lawrence, Miles Beacom, and T. Denny Sanford.

McCrossan Boys Ranch Track

McCrossan Boys Ranch broke ground on a track and field area. The 400-meter, eight-lane rubberized track and recreational field for soccer and other sports will allow the McCrossan Wranglers to host meets and events.

L to R: Steve Wahl, Clark Meyer, Christy Vastenhout, Jason Hubers, Ethan (McCrossan resident), Brian Roegiers (Executive Director, McCrossan Boys Ranch), Bryan Ingalls, Miles Beacom, Jim Wiederrich, and Jon Bour.

Pomegranate Market at Cherapa Place

Pomegranate Market and Pendar Properties celebrated a groundbreaking for the expansion of Pomegranate Market to the Cherapa Place development in Downtown Sioux Falls. The grocery retailer will focus on natural and organic foods and offer office catering.

L to R: Dustin Pratt, John Barker, Joe Batcheller, Anne Haber, Jeff Scherschligt, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Gabe Messler (Owner, Pomegranate Market), Craig Snyder (Owner, Pomegranate Market), Jonah Snyder (Owner, Pomegranate Market), and Kent Cutler.

Avera Health Medical Office Building

Avera broke ground on their new medical office building at the Avera on Louise health campus. The new building will focus on digestive health services.

L to R: Dr. Christopher Hurley, Jim Dover (President and CEO of Avera Health), Scott Lawrence, Sister Mary Kay Panowicz, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Dr. Ronald Place (Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan), Tom Biegler, Dave Flicek, Julie Lautt, and Ryan Boschee.

Leah Friese Headshot
Want to hold a groundbreaking? Contact:

Leah Friese

Director of Marketing and Digital Media, Sioux Falls Development Foundation

Chairman’s Report: 70 Years & Going Strong

By: Ryan Boschee, Chairman

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation traces its origins back to the mid-20th century when a group of forward-thinking individuals recognized the untapped potential of the region. Fueled by a collective vision of transforming Sioux Falls into a hub of economic activity, these pioneers laid the groundwork for what would eventually become one of the most influential economic development organizations in the Midwest.

Formally established in 1954, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation embarked on its mission to attract new businesses, foster job creation, and stimulate investment in the community. Officially incorporated in the late 1960s, its first President, Dave Stenseth, was hired in 1969 to lead the efforts to land the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls and initiated the development of the first Sioux Empire Development Park, providing essential infrastructure to support industrial growth and diversify the local economy. This strategic move set the stage for future expansion and cemented the Foundation’s reputation as a catalyst for progress.

Over the decades, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has achieved numerous milestones, propelling the city to new heights of prosperity and opportunity. In the early ’80s, the Foundation played a major role in attracting Citibank, now Citi, to establish its regional headquarters in Sioux Falls. This landmark achievement not only brought jobs and investment to the community but also solidified Sioux Falls’ reputation as a financial services hub. In the late ’80s the Foundation, under the direction of Roger Hainje, initiated the first Forward Sioux Falls Campaign, setting the stage for a multitude of successes over the next several years including the establishment of nine development parks.

In subsequent years, the Foundation helped establish the regional development group known as MCEDA/LCEDA and in 1991 was named Money Magazine’s Best City to Live. The Foundation continued to spearhead initiatives aimed at driving economic growth and enhancing the city’s competitive edge. From supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs through Startup Sioux Falls to promoting workforce development and infrastructure investment, the Foundation remained steadfast in its commitment to advancing the interests of Sioux Falls and its residents.

As the economic landscape evolved and new challenges emerged, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation demonstrated remarkable adaptability and resilience. Whether navigating periods of economic uncertainty, leveraging emerging technologies, or addressing workforce needs, the Foundation remained agile in its response, continuously seeking innovative solutions to propel Sioux Falls forward. In 2015, land was acquired to establish the state’s first Mega Site, Foundation Park, to attract major industry, tax base and quality jobs to the community.

Today, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation stands as a beacon of progress and possibility, charting the course for the city’s future growth and prosperity. With a diverse array of industries, a talented workforce, and a supportive business environment, Sioux Falls continues to attract investment and opportunity from around the globe. Companies including Amazon, CJ Foods, FedEx, Owens & Minor, Burwell Enterprises and Presidio Manufacturing now call Sioux Falls home. In addition, existing companies including Citi, Raven, POET, Showplace, Grand Prairie Foods and a host of other local grown companies continue to prosper here. And at the helm of this ongoing transformation stands the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, dedicated to realizing the full potential of this vibrant community.

The history of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is a testament to the power of vision, collaboration, and perseverance in driving economic growth and prosperity. From its humble beginnings to its present-day achievements, the Foundation has remained steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all who call Sioux Falls home. As the city looks to the future with the new opening of the Dakota State University DARC Labs and the development of cyber industries in the region, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation will continue to provide cutting-edge assistance to these companies and the businesses who support them.

We’re just getting started, and the future looks bright. Thank you for your continued support as we embark on the next 70 years!

President’s Report: Site Selector Feedback Puts Sioux Falls in A Good Position

By: Bob Mundt, President/CEO

As a long-time member of the National Site Selectors Guild, I was able to join their leadership conference in Nashville recently. The Site Selectors Guild is the only association of the world’s foremost professional site selection consultants. Guild members provide location strategy to corporations across the globe and for every industry, sector, and function. Founded in 2010, the Site Selectors Guild is dedicated to advancing the profession of international corporate site selection by promoting integrity, objectivity, and professional development. Guild membership is the highest standard in the site selection industry.

What I learned in talking to these professionals puts Sioux Falls and South Dakota in a good spot, highlighting several of the major issues influencing corporate site decisions.

  • Availability of Industrial Land – Larger markets on the Coasts and in the South are tight for available, affordable, build-ready property, especially in larger tracts. Sioux Falls is positioned with Foundation Park and other available land to attract attention.
  • Availability and Costs of Electricity – Hot markets in the South and West are reaching their maximum capacity for electrical power. Data centers and other high-use energy users are clamoring to find new markets for their operations. Sioux Falls and the Midwest are able to meet their energy needs.
  • Availability of Water – Again, the availability and cost of water and water reclamation are negatively affecting the Coasts and the South. Manufacturing and processing operations that use water in their production are looking to the Midwest and South Dakota for expansion.
  • Taxes and Operational Costs – Companies are looking to low-tax states and states with lower operating costs including transportation, labor, housing, and general quality of life initiatives. Sioux Falls and the surrounding communities check the box on all those.
  • Quality of Life/Political Environment – More site selectors and companies are ranking quality of place as a key factor in determining location decisions. Education, political stability, recreational opportunities, cultural options, and quality environmental practices are playing a greater part in relocation decisions. Sioux Falls has these traits as well.

The feedback from over 50 site selectors puts Sioux Falls in a good position to capitalize on these trends. The Development Foundation will continue to market our product to these selectors and the companies they represent. We know we can compete, and we offer more than financial incentives. We offer a quality workforce in a quality environment conducive to more profitable operations and a quality of life for employees that is equal or better than our competitors. What better reason to consider Sioux Falls?

Chairman’s Report: A Tradition of Progress

By: Ryan Boschee, 2024 Board Chair

I am honored to serve this year as the Chair of the Board for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Our organization has served as the catalyst for economic development efforts since the 1950s and will continue to be a valuable partner in development efforts moving forward.

As we enter 2024, Foundation Park continues to be the right decision for Sioux Falls. Conceived in 2015 as a partnership effort to lure a large manufacturing project to Sioux Falls, the Development Foundation worked with the City, the State and Forward Sioux Falls to develop the 1,000-acre industrial park. The purpose was to attract new companies and help existing companies to grow and expand, which would raise the tax base and create jobs and opportunities in the region. In 2017, we were able to attract our first tenant and the growth continued.

Today, Foundation Park generates over $6 million in property taxes annually, has contributed over $12 million in development fees and is home to over 2,500 jobs. With over 500 acres remaining to sell and with CJ Foods and Avera/Owens Minor preparing to build this summer, the growth and development continues, promising to double the jobs and continue adding tax base and fees for the community.

In addition, the Foundation continues to work with existing businesses in helping to grow their businesses; assisting 21 companies with growth and expansion plans last year. This has led to Site Selection Magazine ranking Sioux Falls #1 in the country per capita for new and expansion projects.

Workforce development has also been a key element of our efforts. Since 2018, the Development Foundation has led efforts to recruit and retain talent in the Sioux Falls region. Working with employers, universities, tech schools and local high schools, the Foundation has created a pipeline of talent for local employers and helped grow our labor and talent pool.

What our forefathers started over 60 years ago is thriving today, making Sioux Falls a growing and thriving metropolitan area now recognized nationally for responsible growth. The Development Foundation is in a good position to continue our progress and will look for new and creative ways to help the Sioux Falls region thrive. I look forward to leading the Board this year and to working with staff and community leadership to seek new solutions to our challenges.

2024 Legislative Update

By: Mitch Rave, Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Public Policy

During the 2024 South Dakota Legislative Session, the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber advocated on several exciting issues that continue to promote the business community by advocating for economic growth, education, workforce, and so much more. Below, you can read about a handful of initiatives that were passed by the 2024 Legislative body that the Chamber was actively engaged on this session.

Economic Growth

Infrastructure

One of the biggest wins for the Chamber this year was securing $10 million in funding for a grant program that will allow airports across the state to access dollars to improve and expand their current facilities. This is an exciting step, as the Sioux Falls Regional Airport is currently planning to expand their terminal and gate space to accommodate a continuously growing volume of flights.

There were also exciting developments regarding water and wastewater. Over $130 million in American Rescue Plan dollars were appropriated to update and expand wastewater and freshwater infrastructure across South Dakota. Thanks to this major investment, communities across South Dakota will be able to continue to accommodate the growth we are seeing both in the business community and with our increased number of residents.

Carbon Pipelines, Corn Producers, and Landowner Rights

During the session, there were over a dozen bills introduced on each side of the issue, and at the end of session three major pieces of legislation were passed and signed by Governor Noem. SB 201, HB 1185, and HB 1186. Together, these three bills create curbs and gutters around surveying regulations, landowner and county compensation for the project, and protections for private property owners as well. The goal of these pieces of legislation is to ensure that South Dakota remains open for business for large scale linear projects, especially ones that provide such a benefit to our agriculture industry, but also gives our private property owners the rights and protections they deserve. Thanks to these compromises, the agriculture industry may be able to see considerable increases in their products at market if the project goes through as planned.

Education and Workforce

A 4% increase in funding for our K-12 education system was approved for Fiscal Year 2025, along with SB 127 which provides a targeted ongoing benchmark for teacher salary increases. Together these two initiatives show continued support for both our educators and children in South Dakota.

SB 45 provides an appropriation to create a new curriculum for quantum computing at some of our South Dakota regental universities. This will allow our students to step into an emerging industry and be on the cutting edge of the next generation of computer sciences.

On the topic of the workforce, this year the legislature passed some additional licensure compacts in the healthcare industry to help garner more workforce in the long-term care space. Also, a deep dive into the issues surrounding available and affordable childcare will be addressed this legislative offseason. Legislators and stakeholders will get together to determine what steps can be taken to help alleviate this issue felt across the state and in every industry.

Closing

I want to thank all our members for being so vocal and engaged with our public policy team here at the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber during this legislative session. It is only with your continued input, engagement, and support that we can be effective advocates for the business community at every level of government.

President’s report: Riverline Development, Skilled Labor & Quality of Life Make Sioux Falls Ideal for New Corporate Model

By: Bob Mundt, President/CEO

According to the results of Area Development’s 38th annual Corporate Survey, the availability of skilled labor is still the number-one priority for corporate executives when looking to locate a new facility or expand an existing one. What has, however, increased dramatically in importance over the 38-year course of the survey is quality of life. This may be responsible for many companies choosing smaller cities with a good quality of life for their next location project rather than larger metro areas.

In fact, quality of life considerations, which are so important in attracting skilled labor, rank higher in this year’s Corporate Survey when compared to universally important factors such as labor costs and occupancy and construction costs. The focus on quality of life is likely to continue as companies reimagine their workplaces and seek to cater to a much more mobile workforce. Quality of life and “quality of place” are seen as an indicator of whether a new location will be a match for a company’s existing corporate culture and values.

The proposed Riverline District and the development of a new “City Center” anchoring downtown at that location combined with the proposal to transition the existing convention center into an indoor recreation space for children and families is truly visionary. This forward-thinking plan for the future addresses multiple factors in building that quality of life that is so important to corporate expansions and locations as well as helping to recruit more talent and skilled labor to our region.

The Sioux Falls region is ideally positioned to take advantage of these new trends as our communities do an excellent job of building quality of place while controlling other costs of development. With the creation of Foundation Park and the ability to live in the community of your choice, we are finding these new selling points to be in our favor. Keep up the great work everyone.

Enhancing Economic Growth through Strategic Talent Development in Sioux Falls

In an era of unprecedented economic growth and diversification, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is proactively aligning its workforce and talent development strategies with the evolving needs of the region. Our deliberate focus on pivotal occupations and industry sectors represents a comprehensive approach to bolstering a dynamic and diversified marketplace.

Targeted Engagement with Key Growth Sectors

Looking forward to 2027, our strategic initiatives are concentrated on sectors experiencing significant growth within the Sioux Falls MSA. These sectors are vital for cultivating a well-rounded economic environment:

  • Business and Finance Operations
  • Computer and Mathematical Occupations
  • Educational Services
  • Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
  • Management, Construction, and Extraction Occupations
  • Transportation and Materials Moving Occupations

It is noteworthy that roles in these areas typically offer remuneration exceeding the regional average annual wage, as indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Q4 2023. This emphasizes the critical importance of these sectors in enhancing the socio-economic fabric of our community.

Initiatives Tailored to Immediate and Long-term Talent Needs

Our programming is designed to address both current and future talent requirements:

  1. Connecting Talent to Opportunity: Initiatives such as Career Connections and INTERN Sioux Falls are pivotal in linking employers with the emerging workforce, facilitating direct access to significant employment and internship opportunities in key sectors for our high school and tertiary education students.
  2. Enhancing Skills for Contemporary and Future Needs: The UPSKILL Sioux Falls program is pivotal in addressing the immediate demand for skilled labor across critical industries, including construction, healthcare, and transportation, by offering reimbursement for eligible training expenses. This initiative is essential for meeting current industry needs and elevating the workforce’s skill level.
  3. Cultivating a Future-Ready Workforce: Our Your Future STEM initiative targets students in grades 5-8, aiming to spark interest in STEM careers early. This is part of our strategic vision to prepare for long-term talent needs, especially in the expanding bio and life sciences sectors.

In April 2024, the introduction of a new Talent Development Advisory Board will strengthen the connection between employers, educational institutions, and students. This initiative is designed to align educational pathways with workplace demands, ensuring a workforce that is not only prepared for the future but also ahead of industry trends.

An Invitation to Collaborate

As we forge ahead with our talent and workforce development initiatives, we extend an invitation to you to participate in this vital journey. Your engagement and support are crucial to our collective success and the sustained economic prosperity of our community.

For organizations looking for more information about our talent and workforce programming, please reach out to Denise Guzzetta at deniseg@siouxfalls.com.

UPSKILL Sioux Falls: Driving Workforce Development Forward

Since its inception in 2021, UPSKILL Sioux Falls has been at the forefront of addressing workforce challenges in our community. In a strategic partnership with Southeast Technical College, this initiative rolled out specialized training programs for Class A and Class B Certified Drivers Licenses, significantly bolstering the local talent pool to meet the evolving needs of Sioux Falls businesses.

As we navigate through 2024, the results of these efforts have been nothing short of transformative. Nearly 300 drivers and managers have benefitted from this targeted training, enhancing their skills and advancing their careers. Moreover, the program’s financial incentives have been a game changer for local enterprises. Eligible businesses can receive up to 50% reimbursement for the costs associated with both internal and external training programs. “The reimbursements have enabled us to cross-train our staff more effectively, allowing us to serve our customers with greater efficiency,” commented a local small business owner.

Expanding on its success, UPSKILL Sioux Falls has broadened its horizon to encompass additional critical sectors such as healthcare, construction, and building trades in 2024. This expansion not only diversifies the skill sets within our workforce but also opens up new avenues for employee development and business growth.

Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, emphasizes the program’s strategic importance. “By supporting our employers in their efforts to retain and enhance the skills of their workforce in key areas like construction, healthcare, and transportation, we are laying a solid foundation for the sustainable growth of our local economy.”

**A Call to Action for Sioux Falls Businesses**

We encourage local businesses to leverage this unique opportunity to upskill their employees, foster a more dynamic workforce, and contribute to the economic vitality of the Sioux Falls region. Together, we can achieve remarkable milestones in workforce development and ensure a prosperous future for our community.

For more information on how to participate in UPSKILL Sioux Falls and take advantage of training reimbursements, please contact Denise Guzzetta at 605-595-4355 or deniseg@siouxfalls.com.

Celebrating Our Continued Excellence: SHRM Recertification Through 2026

We are thrilled to announce that the Sioux Falls Development Foundation has once again been honored with the SHRM Provider Recertification, extending our commitment to excellence in employee training through 2026. This prestigious re-endorsement from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) — the world’s largest HR member association — underscores our unwavering dedication to the advancement of human resource and workforce professionals.

Empowerment Through Education

At the heart of our mission is the belief in the transformative power of education. “Education empowers individuals and enables them to advance professionally in their careers,” states Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce. Recertification empowers our Talent and Workforce team to persist in offering valuable professional development credits crucial for the ongoing education of HR and workforce professionals.

Continuing Professional Development Opportunities

Year-round, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is committed to facilitating opportunities for growth and learning. Through our array of webinars for virtual training and the annual WIN in Workforce Summit, we provide indispensable in-person and peer networking opportunities. These platforms not only enrich professional knowledge but also foster connections among workforce professionals keen on maintaining their continuing professional development.

Join Us at the WIN in Workforce Summit on September 24, 2024!

Mark your calendars for the WIN in Workforce Summit on September 24th. This event promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees, offering unparalleled insights into the latest trends and strategies in workforce development.

For more information and to register for the WIN in Workforce Summit, click here.

Let’s continue to grow together, embracing the opportunities that lie ahead with the support of our SHRM certification. Here’s to advancing our professional journeys with confidence and excellence!

Talent Draft Day 2024 returns on March 22

Join Us for a Landmark Event: Talent Draft Day Returns to Ignite Futures and Forge Connections!

Mark your calendars! Due to overwhelming enthusiasm and success in past years, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation is thrilled to announce the return of the Talent Draft Day on March 22, now in its groundbreaking fourth year. This signature event has become a pivotal moment for both aspiring young professionals and forward-thinking businesses in the Sioux Falls region.

What Makes Talent Draft Day Unmissable?

Talent Draft Day is not just an event; it’s a vibrant ecosystem designed to bridge the gap between the workforce of tomorrow and today’s employment opportunities. This year, we’re rolling out an even more immersive experience, tailored to spark curiosity, ignite ambition, and foster meaningful connections:

  • Hands-On Technology Demonstrations: Experience the future of work with live demonstrations by leading employers and educators. Dive into the world of skilled and professional trades through engaging role plays and interactive sessions that bring career possibilities to life.
  • Speed Networking Extravaganza: Accelerate your networking with rapid-fire sessions that connect students directly with top employers. Discover apprenticeships, internships, and career paths you never knew existed in a fast-paced and dynamic setting.

This is your golden opportunity to align with the future of your industry, share your vision with eager young minds, and potentially meet your next star employee or intern.

SD Trade Provides Valuable Services

By Mike Lynch, program director

In 2023, Forward Sioux Falls joined nearly 30 organizations, along with the State of South Dakota to provide funding for South Dakota Trade (SDT), which focuses on export education, STEP Grant hosting, international trade consulting and trade missions.

In its inaugural year, SDT has achieved several key milestones including:

  • Procuring $375k in federal grants
  • Providing continuing education to 70+ trade practitioners
  • Hosting delegates from over 10 countries
  • Providing over 400 hours of free and confidential consulting to small businesses
  • Conducting the state’s first trade mission in 10 years which generated more than a 60x return on investment (over $1.5 million in direct sales). In total, SDT has directly supported more than $3 million in sales for South Dakota companies this year

If any Forward Sioux Falls investors desire assistance with any aspect of international trade, we encourage them to utilize the services SDT provides. Click here for contact information and to learn more about SDT programming.

Business leaders join Development Foundation board of directors

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation added two business executives to the organization’s board of directors. Elected through a vote of the membership, Kurt Brost and A.J. Saigh began their terms on January 1st.

Kurt Brost, Senior Director of Community Relations, Sanford Health

Kurt Brost currently serves as the Senior Director of Community Relations for Sanford Health. He has served in various capacities within the Sanford Health system since 2008 including Director of Real Estate Services, Chief of Staff, Director of Profile Store Development, and Head of Executive Affairs. Prior to his career at Sanford, he spent a decade with Gateway Computers in sales, training, corporate communications, and program management; as assistant campaign manager with the Thune for Senate race; and five years as a Broker Associate at NAI Sioux Falls.

Born and raised in Presho and Pierre, the South Dakota native graduated from Augustana University with a BA in English and obtained an MBA through the University of Sioux Falls. Brost is married with two children. His wife Krista is a teacher in the Sioux Falls School District, his daughter is attending Augustana, and his son is a student at Lincoln High School.

A.J. Saigh, Chief Financial Officer, Burwell Enterprises

A.J. Saigh is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Burwell Enterprises and the other affiliated companies under the Burwell umbrella. These companies include C&B Operations, LLC – 38 John Deere/powersports dealerships located in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming; C&B Material Handling, LLC – 20 material handing dealerships located in Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, and West Virginia; ProForm Fabrication, LLC – a stainless steel fabrication and custom manufacturing company located in Minnesota and South Dakota; and Silvertree Hospitality, LLC – a hotel management company which manages two family-owned hotels in Wisconsin.

In addition to the above, A.J. helps manage the Burwell family external investments which include e-commerce, defense, health care, and real estate.

Assuming pivotal roles within the Burwell executive team, A.J. encompasses key functions such as mergers and acquisitions, treasury services, debt management, tax planning, estate planning, and the oversight of relationships with external family advisors.

Tenure with the Burwell family began in 2015, following a five-year tenure at Carlson Companies. During this period, A.J. dedicated three years to the management of financial operations for the Asia Pacific region in Singapore. Subsequently, A.J. spent two years at the Carlson Companies corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, where responsibilities included financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, and family reporting.

A.J. started his career at Deloitte & Touche in Minneapolis with a focus on audit practices. Clients were focused primarily on financial services and family offices.

Relocating to Sioux Falls from Minneapolis in July of 2022, AJ and his wife, Melissa, have three children: Linna, Jimmy and Tony. His hobbies include driving kids back and forth between dance and hockey.