Career Connections
Back Directions Newsletter

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

  • January 10, 2023

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.