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.


  Read More

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.


  Read More


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.


  Read More


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.


  Read More


Executive profile: Midco chief technology officer Jonathan Pederson

As chief technology officer at Midco, Jon Pederson’s role is a diverse one. 

He manages a team of 65 people, taking care of core customer-facing technology: Internet, video service, phone service and business services. 

He also represents the Sioux Falls-based company at the highest levels of its industry, assisting with industry relations at a national level.

This month, he marks 34 years with the company – the result of a career that started with a job during college that led him down an unexpected path.


  Read More


Sioux Falls Development Foundation’s Recruitment Council offers valuable insight to business community

It’s probably the one topic that can easily draw dozens of executive leaders, human resource professionals and marketing experts on a Friday during the summer: talent acquisition and workforce development.

This shared priority of the Sioux Falls business community is the unifying theme for the Recruitment Council, a newly formed group organized by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation that meets quarterly to learn about and share best practices.

Led by Denise Guzzetta, vice president of talent and workforce development, and Sara Gillis, director of talent and workforce development, the group has grown to 190 members representing businesses of all sizes.

Approximately 140 people attended the most recent meeting June 21.


  Read More