Organization Focus: Sioux Falls Development Foundation

With a wealth of resources at its disposal, from financial assistance to city incentive programs and workforce development, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation (SFDF) is dedicated to the growth of new and existing companies in the city.

The foundation’s responsibilities include recruiting new companies to Sioux Falls, assisting existing companies that are looking to expand their operations in the city, creating satellite companies, and relocating headquarters.

Bob Mundt, SFDF president, says the organization operates primarily as a support system for growing companies.

“Ultimately, we’re a development corporation that works with companies both new and existing who are looking to grow and expand,” he said. 

When considering a move or expansion, companies must evaluate a variety of criteria to come to a decision.

These may include questions such as:

  • Are there customers in Sioux Falls that would purchase your company’s product or service?
  • Is your product or service unique to Sioux Falls, or would you be entering into competition with another company? 
  • How will you add staff?
  • Can the vendors you work with provide services in your new location?

SFDF helps answer these questions, and many more, by providing services and information that assist in the decision-making process.

“A large part of what drives these decisions is location,” said Mundt. “Are they within the right market from a logistics perspective? Where are the customers they’re trying to serve?”

Similarly, an area’s quality of life is important to consider for companies seeking to maintain employees or hire new staff.

Mundt and his team offer companies the data and connections they need to determine whether or not Sioux Falls will be a good fit for their business, such as the cost of doing business, key demographic information, labor force statistics, workforce training, and business incentive programs. 

Who does SFDF serve?

SFDF’s impact is twofold in that it enhances the Sioux Falls community by bolstering its economy, and serves growing companies who are looking to expand by showing them what Sioux Falls has to offer.

Target markets that could capitalize on the Sioux Falls economy include bioengineering as it relates to agriculture, logistics and distribution, and advanced manufacturing.

Not only do these industries tend to offer higher-paying positions with room for growth and development, but they are also key industries in Sioux Falls with established talent pools. 

“We’re looking to bring in jobs that pay at or above the median wage, in the $20-25 per hour range, and we’re trying to focus on technology,” Mundt said. 

On the other side, SFDF educates companies from out-of-state on the benefits of relocating or getting started in Sioux Falls.

“We do a lot of work with colleges, universities, and trade and tech schools, and we’re trying to connect our companies with those graduates,” said Mundt. 

But it’s not just about bringing new people into the community. Mundt says SFDF has a strong track record of bringing people back to Sioux Falls. 

“We do a great job of showing people who may have moved away why they should come back,” he said.

Before reaching out to SFDF, Mundt says a company should assess the following criteria:

  • Do you have the ability to grow? 
  • Are you a company with the potential to fill one of the four target areas (bioengineering, distribution, logistics, and advanced manufacturing)?
  • Will you create a positive impact in Sioux Falls?

“If you’re creating a product that you want to sell to make millions, there’s probably not a whole lot we can do for you,” said Mundt. “We’re looking for companies that want to make a larger splash in the community.”

Educational events through SFDF

Outside of these services, SFDF also holds a variety of educational events for the public, including the Workforce Information Now (WIN) Summit and quarterly lunch and learns.

The first annual WIN Summit was held in 2018, and this year’s event will take place on August 22. Purchase tickets here.

The event brings together industry experts and leaders from the greater Sioux Falls area to discuss, strategize, and inspire in the areas of workforce growth and development.

Quarterly lunch and learns offer an opportunity for business owners to come in and learn about operational best practices.

Additionally, SFDF recently completed its recruitment council, an organization of human resources professionals getting together to share ideas and proven strategies.

These and other events can be viewed via the SFDF Events Calendar.

Two Things You Can Do This Week:

  • SFDF publishes a quarterly newsletter that is available via hard copy or electronically. To sign up, email your contact information to [email protected]
  • Visit SFDF’s WIN in Workforce site to access specific WIN resources and learn about upcoming events.