Workforce Articles


Amazon to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce

U.S. companies are increasingly paying up to retrain workers as new technologies transform the workplace and companies struggle to recruit talent in one of the hottest job markets in decades.

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.50% is the latest example of a large employer committing to help its workers gain new skills. The online retailer said Thursday it plans to spend $700 million over about six years to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce as automation, machine learning and other technology upends the way many of its employees do their jobs.

Companies as varied as AT&T Inc., Walmart Inc., WMT 0.33% JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Accenture ACN -0.45% PLC have embarked on efforts to prepare workers for new roles. At a time of historically low unemployment, coupled with rapid digital transformation that requires high-tech job skills, more U.S. companies said they want to help their employees transition to new positions—and they have their bottom line squarely in focus.


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First-ever Talent Draft Day draws big response

Talent Draft Day, a first-time event from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, got off to a strong start with its debut event last week.

Designed to connect students pursuing high-need careers with the schools and businesses and that want work with them, it drew more than 600 talented area students from Harrisburg High School, Southeast Tech, Lake Area Tech and the Lake Area Multi-District Schools.


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SFDF awards commemorative plaques to WIN Summit speakers, sponsors

As a gesture of gratitude for their contributions of time, talents and financial support, all of which helped to make the second annual WIN in Workforce Summit a success, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation gifted commemorative plaques to the 40 speakers and the 13 sponsor organizations who supported the August event.

“Due to the generosity of our business partners, the WIN in Workforce Summit was a resounding success,” said Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce Development. “We at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation are grateful to the speakers for sharing their experiences and to the sponsor companies for supporting our shared vision to equip and to grow the Sioux Falls area workforce for the betterment of our business community.”


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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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Student researchers can connect with career opportunities at upcoming event

As many as 200 undergraduate students are spending their summer immersed in STEM-related research in South Dakota, and soon they will be in front of business leaders who could go on to hire them.

The research work is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, including the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, and Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, as well as the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network, or SD BRIN.


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Students learn STEM, soft skills through workforce development partnership

The cafeteria at Dell Rapids Middle School cooked up something different recently when fifth graders, business representatives and educators put on a one-of-a-kind STEM lesson.

The effort, led and coordinated by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, brought together partners Gage Brothers Concrete Products and Journey Group for a lesson that include a hands-on look at how cement becomes concrete.

Along the way, students learned about science and math-related concepts and the careers they might pursue in related industries.

Here’s a look at how the activity came together.


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