SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Keeping young people in the state is a big challenge after graduation. The Sioux Falls Development Foundation is trying out some new events to draw those young people back to the city.
“We are in a competitive talent war. So we are drawing into this area the students and the talent that are necessary for the businesses to grow,” said Guzzetta.
That war means new tools for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. This year the group is adding new programs to help connect young people to local businesses.
“66% of the students that matriculate through one of our technical colleges or one of our post-secondary institutions, or that come directly into the workforce, we’re not placed in the top ten as far as where those students go,” said Guzzetta.
There are three specific strategies already in effect.
One is Talent Tours, which allows young adults to explore professional work settings.
The next is Your Future, which shows younger kids how the building trades and healthcare industry work.
And last is the Talent Rebound, which aims to bring young professionals into the area for new work opportunities. They are said to be the most difficult group to recruit.
“We’re really competing against the whole country. If you look at the fact that we have declining birth rates, and inside the upper midwest we have a very strong representation throughout the business community. So when we think about those jobs that are in short supply, such as computer programming, we really are competing on a national scale,” said Guzzetta.
By 2021 the Development Foundation wants to see 15,233 young people move back to Sioux Falls for work. They chose that number because that’s the number of students who will be graduating in the next three years and fill the critical mass jobs; including nursing and skilled labor.
The Development Foundation is also holding summit events all year for businesses and professionals in the area.