By Bob Mundt, President & CEO
When I arrived at the Development Foundation in mid-2018, I was charged with the challenging task of recruiting people — as well as companies — to Sioux Falls. The previous Forward Sioux Falls program had identified workforce development as THE top issue facing our community and tabbed the Development Foundation with meeting that need. Their logic was that if the Development Foundation was in charge of creating new jobs through the expansion, retention and attraction of industry, we should also be in charge of helping our companies fill those positions.
After hiring Denise Guzzetta to lead this effort in 2019, we decided that the best strategy to address the labor challenge was to develop ways to add prospective employees to the workforce pipeline and connect them with our employers searching for talent. I am proud to report that over the past four years, we have met that challenge head on.
Our three-pronged approach centered on:
- Local Talent Development through programs aimed at middle school, high school, local university/tech school students; and upskilling of current employees to higher paying, in-demand jobs. Programs include:
- Career Connections
- Your Future STEM Camps and in-school opportunities
- Second Chance Job Fairs
- Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center
- UPSKILL Sioux Falls
- Talent Attraction with programming and marketing to universities/tech schools and regional talent hubs to recruit existing workers and specialized talent.
- Talent Tours
- Talent Now
- Talent Draft Days
- Talent Rebounds
- Talent Thursdays
- INTERN Sioux Falls
- WORK Sioux Falls
- Business Partnerships sharing resources and best practices for recruiting and retaining talent in a competitive environment.
- Sioux Falls Area Recruitment Council
- WIN in Workforce Summit
Using social media, traditional media and leveraging our partnerships with education, government, the business community, and best practices from around the country, we continue to lead the region in recruiting talent. Our website, SiouxFalls.com, continues to generate connections to our Forward Sioux Falls investors, our members and our companies looking to hire talent. Literally, thousands of people from outside the region have connected with our companies and we continue to expose our local talent to the many opportunities for work after high school graduation, or advancement opportunities within their companies.
While our unemployment numbers remain low, I am confident that we are generating a buzz about working and living in Sioux Falls. As we move forward, we will continue to look for new ways to bring workers into the Sioux Falls pipeline. We appreciate your support and participation in these programs.