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Workforce today – and in 2030: Experts will share insight at upcoming Workforce Summit

  • October 19, 2021

What does the workforce of the future look like? It depends on where you’re viewing it.

For Matt Paulson, founder and CEO of the state’s largest digital media company MarketBeat, “the future is hybrid,” he said.

“People want flexibility, but they also want to be in an office. And I’m seeing people move to different jobs for more flexibility. I think that’s a trend. They’re less interested in jobs where you’re working a ton of hours with no flexibility.”

For Lucas Fiegen, vice president of Fiegen Construction, “I think the biggest thing is you have to be creative,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to expand the industry and help workforce, and it was saying yes to those things and thinking through how to do it strategically.”

Those two, plus dozens of other local experts, will share their insight at the upcoming WIN in Workforce Summit on Oct. 28 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The annual event, produced by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, will feature keynote speaker Chad Greenway and multiple sessions revolving around topics such as Your Workforce in 2030, 4 Tools for Retaining High-Functioning Teams, Talent Tips That Work and Future Labor Skills – Employment Prospectus 2030.

“We have an incredible lineup of presenters that ensures you’re going to leave this event with actionable takeaways you can immediately apply in your workplace,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development.

“Whether you’re trying to understand Generation Z, hoping to improve your recruitment and retention or looking to learn some best practices, this event is going to deliver for you.”

For Paulson, who will speak on the 2030 workforce, the pandemic has represented “a 10-year leap forward” in terms of how, when and where people work.

In his own downtown office, “nobody’s there the entire day,” he said. “I get a sense of productivity by how long projects remain on their plate. We’ve done a great job attracting people by saying we’re not X big employer. We get applicants looking for something different, so that’s been an advantage.”

He also sees more people trying out being their own boss.

“People sometimes see the good parts of entrepreneurship and don’t realize you have to work 60 hours a week for a long time or more,” he said. “But the equation in people’s heads is changing too. It’s not about maximum cash and who cares how much I work. It’s more of a ‘how can I fit my job around my lifestyle’ and not my lifestyle around my job.”

Fiegen will speak at the summit about how his family business has seen success increasing interest in the trades through a unique partnership with O’Gorman High School to support the school’s industrial arts program.

“Year one they were building sawhorses and sheds, and now we’re starting to get other trades involved, so this year they were pouring and finishing concrete, and next semester we’re going to have some masons come out and show them how to lay a block foundation,” Fiegen said.

“We’re trying to figure out as the program evolves how they can have hands-on experience in a multitude of industries.”

It has expanded to add CAD technology and 3D-printing programs and has attracted more students than anticipated.

“My uncle Rusty goes in once or twice a semester and talks about next steps and where kids can go, including tech school, and the different opportunities they have,” Fiegen said.

His company also is working with new employees aspiring to management positions to start them in the field, including mentoring and shadowing.

“We want them to get in-the-field experience and then transition them into a construction management role.”

If these topics sound like ones you should explore further, click here to register for the WIN in Workforce Summit.

“These ideas and experts are just the start of what you’ll learn,” Guzzetta said. “We look forward to connecting with you and your team.”