Workforce Articles


Career Spotlight: Valerie Bares, After start in financial services, data-driven professional finds fit in healthcare.

Valerie Bares arrived at SDSU uncertain about what the future held.


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‘The cyber state’ takes shape with first-of-its-kind research center

Think of the newly opened Madison Cyber Labs at Dakota State University as a big magnet.

“It’s going to attract people to come to work, new faculty who will be able to conduct research with federal agencies they can’t do on other campuses,” DSU president José-Marie Griffiths said. “And we think it will attract partnerships. We know it’s already attracting partnerships.”

The 38,000-square-foot building that opened in recent weeks already is fulfilling much of its promise.

As students move in, collaboration already is starting, those using the building said.

That was the idea when Griffiths proposed the concept to her campus and to the South Dakota Board of Regents just a few short years ago.

“We couldn’t have one lab per faculty member pursuing their individual research agendas. They had to be broader and involve others across campus and potentially involve external partners,” she said.

“The intent is not just research for the sake of research. It’s researching real problems, developing real solutions, but at the same time creating jobs for people who engage in that R&D and spin off companies that take that R&D and put it out into the real world.”


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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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Arm yourself with workforce information, strategies at this premier talent, workforce event

If your business finds itself trying to attract talent, develop talent or determine what resources are available to help, this event is for you. The WIN in Workforce Summit will be held from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

This annual event sponsored by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation brings together industry leaders, innovative educators and engaged business leaders from the greater Sioux Falls area to engage and share best practices for workforce development.

“We’ve put together an incredibly deep, informed group of experts to ensure you will leave this half-day event with actionable information and strategies you can immediately begin to put to work in your organization,” said Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.


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Attracting Talent for the Short and Long-Term Drives Workforce Programming.

South Dakota State University was about to play its first-round basketball game in this year’s Summit League Championships, and the energy was everywhere.

It carried over from the Denny Sanford Premier Center to Crooked Pint Ale House across the street, where a packed reception drew dozens of students, alumni, and area professionals.

Organized by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, it was meant to “really draw the kids into the area, give them a really fun experience, connect them with our employers, connect them with our great city, make sure they know about all the wonderful career opportunities here,” said Denise Guzzetta, the foundation’s vice president of talent and workforce development.

“We’ve made it fun and engaging.”

SDSU president Barry Dunn praised the approach.

“I think it’s incredibly creative. I think we’ve all be frustrated with how do we tell our story better,” he said. “I’m just all for it.”


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Augustana shines nationwide for job placement as it plans for future workforce needs

It’s one thing to find a job right out of college. It’s another to still be thriving in the workforce a decade after graduation.

And a recently released study shows students who graduate from Augustana University are leading the nation when it comes to post-graduation employment.

The university ranked second nationwide, with a 96.05 percent employment rate for its graduates over a 10-year period.


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