This is a paid piece from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

Simplified: The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is doing more now than ever before to support a strong workforce as part of our city's growing economy. Here's a look at some of the ways they're working to attract, develop and retain workers.

Why it matters

  • The foundation has long been focused on bolstering Sioux Falls' economy by supporting and bringing in businesses. But without a strong workforce, those businesses cannot sustain.
  • That's why, over the last several years, the foundation has developed more than a dozen unique programs to serve the various workforce needs of local businesses.
  • These programs are essential in today's labor market with low unemployment and fewer applicants for open jobs, said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
"You have to market," Guzzetta said. "You have to reach out. You have to connect more now –  because of the tightness of the labor market – than ever before."

Tell me more about these workforce programs

The foundation has 13 separate workforce programs that all fall within three goals: attract, develop and retain.

Programs designed to help attract workers include:

  • Events for college students to tour businesses and connect with high-demand industries,
  • INTERN Sioux Falls – a program to connect college sophomores and juniors with internships,
  • Talent Thursdays – a weekly live-stream on social media featuring Sioux Falls professionals,
  • And events to reach people who went to college in South Dakota but then moved away – in an effort to inspire them to move back.

Programs designed to develop workers include:

  • Job shadow and intern experiences for high schoolers through the Career Connections program,
  • Your Future STEM – a program to help middle schoolers understand potential job opportunities in STEM fields,
  • UPSKILL Sioux Falls – a program to help people get the skills needed to fill high-demand and hard-to-fill jobs,
  • And job fairs catered to people with specific needs, such as adults with disabilities or people who've been impacted by the justice system.

Programs designed to help retain workers include:

  • A recruitment council made up of more than 800 members,
  • And the annual WIN in Workforce Summit, a day-long event for business executives, HR professionals and educators to learn trends and best practices in the workforce. The next WIN in Workforce Summit is November 1, 2023.

All of these programs serve different needs, which Guzzetta said is critical to help the variety of businesses in Sioux Falls.

"It's not a one-size-fits-all approach anymore," she said.

What impact are these programs having?

The Sioux Falls Development Foundation tracks how many people they're interacting with and helping each year. Here's a look at some of the big stats:

  • Last year, the foundation worked directly with more than 22,700 people through its 13 programs.
  • The foundation also helped nearly 900 high schoolers complete a job shadow.
  • And, the foundation's online campaigns designed to "sell" Sioux Falls to prospective employees saw more than 10 million impressions in 2022.

How can I learn more?

You can find more specifics on the foundation's various workforce programs on their website.

  • There, you'll also find more success stories of how different groups are working together to provide people everything they need to connect with the right job.