Southeast Tech building programs to meet industry needs

Fifty years ago, Southeast Tech began in Sioux Falls with six programs and fewer than 100 students.

A half-century later, it’s grown to 60 programs and more than 2,400 students.

“It’s up from last year again, so it’s nice to see that continued interest in trades and technical careers,” said Robert Griggs, who is beginning his third school year as Southeast Tech’s president.

Southeast Tech helps prepare students to secure jobs in the Sioux Falls area by tailoring its program offerings to match areas where workers are needed. That’s resulted in programs teaching skills in the following areas: Business, Transportation Technology, Horticulture, Industrial Technology, Media Communications, Healthcare, Engineering Technology, Law Enforcement, Early Childhood, Information Technology, Agriculture and Technical Studies.

“What’s really critical is that Southeast Tech respond to industry needs,” Griggs said. “In order to do that, we need to be in constant communication and conversation with industry representatives about what they see as current demand and what opportunities are going to exist for careers in the future.”

This school year brought a new program to train medical assistants, developed in response to needs from the healthcare field and with curriculum help from Avera Health and Sanford Health.


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Early career spotlight: Southeast Tech grad finds match with Muth Electric

Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why a technical institute was the right choice for you, and what led you to pursue the program you selected at Southeast Tech.

My name is Logan Bosch, and I’m from Luverne, Minnesota. A technical institute was a good choice for me because it allowed me to get a good education while also allowing me to get into the workforce faster and start earning money sooner than I would have if I would have gone to a four-year university.

I decided to pursue the Electrician program because it had always interested me, and I like the ability to do things with my hands and be on my feet all day.


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Hundreds gather for a common purpose: Advancing workforce development

They came for information and expertise, and left with actionable strategies and new connections to take back to their workplace.

Approximately 300 Sioux Falls-area professionals attended last week’s second annual WIN in Workforce Summit, produced by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.


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How to equip the next generation of leaders in any industry

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a five-person organization or a 5,000-person one, the women delivering a breakout session at Thursday’s WIN in Workforce Summit have a message for you.

“These are foundational pieces any organization needs to be aware of today to attract and retain and keep really good employees,” said Christine Buell, director of leadership development at Avera Health.

Buell will be joined for a discussion with Linda Halliburton, associate dean of workforce education and professional development at the Community College for Sioux Falls. The breakout, titled “How to equip the next generation of leaders for any industry,” will be moderated by Pam Hanneman, vice president and business banking manager at First Premier Bank.

Their session is one of several in the area of talent attraction. The WIN Summit, presented by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, also includes expert insight in the areas of talent development and business practices.


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Attracting top talent requires creative employer branding

As a human resources executive at Sanford Health, Darren Walker has bought in to his organization’s hiring motto: “See yourself at Sanford.”

It’s part of a broader effort in employer branding – a best practice for organizations trying to land top talent in an increasingly competitive environment.

“I think it’s all about what are we as an employer doing to stand out. Our goal is to be the employer of choice,” said Walker, vice president of human resources.

“We recognize that individuals spend just as much time at work as they do at home or other activities, and we want to create a brand and environment that’s welcoming and that people want to be a part of.”


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Live, Learn, Inspire: How to engage multiple generations for lifelong learning

Want to gain insight on how to work with multiple generations? Start by teaching them.

That’s what Fenecia Foster does as part of her role at Southeast Technical Institute, where she splits time teaching math and applied physics with serving as a faculty liaison working on accreditation and on-boarding faculty.

“We have a lot of Gen Xers who are coming back in the classroom to retrain, and I’ve had students who are baby boomers,” said Foster, who has been teaching at Southeast Tech. for almost seven years. “We really get those three generations – Gex X, millennials and Gen Z – in our classroom at the same time, and the workforce is similar.”

Foster will be part of a panel around the topic of “Live, Learn, Inspire” at the Aug. 22 WIN in Workforce Summit presented by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. Foster will be joined by panelists Kayla Eitreim of Junior Achievement of South Dakota, Josh Hall from the Career & Technical Education Academy and Alyssia Salguero with the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation.

It’s one of several sessions designed to share strategies around talent development. The summit also will cover talent attraction, business partnerships and other workforce development resources.


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