Workers at Interstates
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Moving Sioux Falls Forward: Interstates touts strength of area workforce as key to growth

  • April 30, 2024

As a highly technical company, Interstates requires a heavy STEM-based skill set from its team — and increasingly, the business is finding that in Sioux Falls.

Over more than 70 years, the company has evolved with the needs of industry to provide electrical engineering, construction, instrumentation and control-system solutions to manufacturing and industrial clients.

Workers at Interstates

“This is a company filled with high-level talent, and the fact that Interstates is able to source so much of the workforce needed to support its growth in Sioux Falls is a testament to what this area collectively has achieved,” said Bob Mundt, president and the CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

“It’s a terrific example of the kind of exciting career and positive culture that awaits graduates and talent of all career stages, and we’re anticipating many more opportunities for Interstates to grow in our community.”

While it’s based in Sioux Center, Iowa, Interstates has grown its workforce in Sioux Falls thanks to intentional partnerships and investment in its employee experience and culture.

Here’s a closer look at the business, courtesy of CEO Scott Peterson.

Scott Peterson

Business name: Interstates.

Year founded: Interstates was founded as Johnny’s Electric by John A. Franken in 1953. In 1967, it was renamed to Interstates Electric & Engineering, which later became Interstates as it’s known today.

Year operations began in Sioux Falls: 1999.

Total employees in the Sioux Falls area: We have over 200 team members in the Sioux Falls area and nearly 1,500 globally.

CEO/lead executive in Sioux Falls: Scott Peterson, CEO.

How would you describe your organization to someone not familiar with it?

Interstates partners with industrial and manufacturing clients to design, build, automate, maintain and protect their facilities.

Worker at Interstates

This is everything from project inception to ongoing facility operations and maintenance.

What are the top three reasons you continue to locate in the Sioux Falls area?

The strength of the workforce here is incredible, and the proximity to strong universities and technical schools allows us to stay connected with them.

Workers at Interstates

The Sioux Falls area also allows us to continue to grow our presence in the South Dakota industrial space.

What are you most proud of within your business in the past year?

Over my career as a whole, and especially in the last year, our culture and our team members are what make me most proud. Our Family Core Value is a strong part of our organization. Our safety program ties closely to this in the way we care for and watch out for each other. Last year, we reached a million hours worked without a recordable injury. This is the fourth time we’ve done that, which is very rare. Fewer than 100 contractors have reached this milestone.

In the last year, I’ve watched our team members live out our culture in multiple ways. They’re leaning into our You Matter, I Care program, which promotes the importance of both physical and mental health, and they are driving forward our Engage program as individual teams lead service projects and regularly plug into their local communities.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your business?

Due to the nature of our work, we’ll likely see unique challenges in different areas of the organization. Keeping up with the demand for our field and professional workforce is and will continue to be one of our biggest challenges.

team meeting at Interstates

We’re always looking to bring great people into the organization. We’ll also be supporting our clients as they navigate digital transformation within their industries. As the construction world shifts to more off-site construction, we’re on the path to changing the way we work to rise to that challenge and help our clients be successful.

How would you describe the culture of your business in three words?

Empowering servant leaders.

For context, our team members are the heart and soul of our organization and have driven the success of the company by how they live our culture. No matter the role they hold at Interstates, they lead from where they are and truly serve one another, our clients and our communities.

Interstates employees pose with rakes and yard tools

Why does your business choose to invest in Forward Sioux Falls?

We believe in investing in the communities where we live and work. Forward Sioux Falls is preparing the community for the future and growth. Specifically, we appreciate the way Forward Sioux Falls walks alongside businesses as we manage environmental challenges and secure skilled workers.

What specific advantages or values have you found to partnering with Forward Sioux Falls and its programs?

The programs that Forward Sioux Falls has put in place around training the current workforce and developing future talent continue to enhance the strong workforce in the Sioux Falls area. Because of our shared focus on technology and innovation, Forward Sioux Falls keeps us connected to the growing technology community as well.

What are your expectations for your business in the year ahead?

Overall, we’re expecting 2024 to be a strong year. Our clients across the U.S. are in relatively strong markets, and we’re seeing good activity and growth. We’ll continue to strengthen those relationships in the year ahead. As always, we’ll continue to invest in our people and our culture. Most recently, we had an 87 percent companywide engagement score and have consistently exceeded the industry average. This is something we’re proud of, and our focus will remain on supporting and serving our team members.

Forward Sioux Falls is a joint venture between the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and is widely respected as the premier economic driver for the Sioux Falls region. To learn more and connect, click here.