Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

Business Briefs

SDSU Metro Center planned

In an effort to support health sciences and future workforce building, Avera Health has made a generous gift to the South Dakota State University Foundation of its property at 33rd Street and Minnesota Avenue. The building will provide SDSU with a permanent home for its Sioux Falls-based programs in nursing and pharmacy.

The 44,359-square-foot building has served as Avera’s Sioux Falls Home Medical Equipment location. The SDSU College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions has leased a portion of the building since last fall. Renovation on the future SDSU Metro Center, containing the Avera health education center for these students, will begin this summer and continue through 2025.

SDSU awarded 491 degrees in the health professions in 2023, more than any other university in the Board of Regents’ system, according to the Regents’ 2024 Fact Book.

SDSU President Barry Dunn said the facility will expand SDSU’s ties to the state’s largest community. “The ability to educate and train students in a community supported so well by the healthcare industries will not only advance our academic programs but continue to play a pivotal role in meeting the workforce demands of our state and region,” said Dunn.

“We are proud to work with South Dakota State University on this space for their health science majors. Expanding and scaling our workforce is a major priority for Avera, and this collaboration will help expand capacity for SDSU,” said David Flicek, Chief Operating Officer for Avera. “We appreciate our relationship with our education partners. This gift helps to support Avera, Sioux Falls and the entire state of South Dakota.”

University officials say more than 400 students will be educated and trained in the new facility annually. That includes more than 150 students from the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions and 240 students within the College of Nursing. Of those, 160 will be pursuing undergraduate degrees; another 80 are in the graduate program.

The new SDSU Metro Center will include classrooms, skills labs for nursing, research space for pharmacy, and simulation labs and student study areas serving all majors.

HyVee’s OpportUNITY Inclusive Summit

Hy-Vee, Inc. will host its OpportUNITY Inclusive Summit in Sioux Falls on June 18. The event provides small business owners learning opportunities and resources from Hy-Vee and other local business leaders to help grow their businesses.

The OpportUNITY Inclusive Summit will include a business expo, breakout sessions led by industry experts, one-on-one mentoring sessions and a live pitch competition. It is free to attend and open to the public.

The Business Expo features resources and networking opportunities tailored for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Breakout session topics include navigating access to capital, building strong networks and alliances, boosting your business marketing and overcoming regulatory hurdles.

The live pitch competition portion of the Summit is open to minority- and women-owned businesses. Fifteen finalists will be selected to compete for up to $50,000 in cash prizes to use for their business. Those interested in participating in the pitch competition must apply online by May 19, 2024.

Community groups, area businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals supporting or networking with small businesses are welcome to attend the Hy-Vee OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit on Tuesday, June 18, from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

JLG Expansion

JLG Architects has completed an office renovation and expansion to accommodate the employee-owned firm’s growth within Sioux Falls and throughout the state. Since 2016, JLG’s Sioux Falls team has leased a space at 232 South Main Avenue. With unprecedented growth, the firm acquired an additional space next door at 230 South Main Avenue, which has doubled their office to 8,200 square feet.

“Our 10-year plan was to create a dozen new careers in Sioux Falls. We started with five employee owners in 2016, and today, our Sioux Falls office is home to 24,” said Catherine Dekkenga, AIA, Principal Architect, JLG Architects. “We are thrilled to see this kind of positive growth for Sioux Falls and JLG.”

JLG’s new space features a new configuration with five conference rooms, additional restrooms and breakrooms, desk workstations, and a variety of comfortable, non-traditional workstation options. The new office also enhances its partnership with Rehfield’s Art, a Sioux Falls gallery that displays regional artist collections on JLG’s workplace walls.

“We design for workplace well-being, and it’s important that we practice what we preach,“ said Dekkenga. “Like many offices, our employee-owners want options – this includes having the ability to work from a desk or work informally from an adaptable armchair, lounge area, collaborative space, or individual workspace.”

Giving United

The Sioux Empire United Way (SEUW) proudly raised $8,989,421 through its 2024 campaign. This reflects 95% of the annual campaign fundraising goal. SEUW will still be able to fully fund the 75 funded programs, as originally outlined.

“In 2023, we had programs that did not utilize their full funding award. With our commitment to ensuring every dollar raised is going to support the identified needs of the community, we are happy to be able to put those unused funds to good use in 2024,” stated Chief Operations Officer Christina Riss.

While SEUW is grateful to be able to support the needs in 2024, this year’s fundraising shortfall does not go unnoticed. United Way’s across the country, who have historically depended heavily on giving through workplace campaigns, have been largely impacted by the changing landscape of workplace giving. Like many other businesses, other outside factors, like an unsteady economy and inflation, have proven to be a challenge in recent years and have resulted in a decrease in the total number of givers.

SEUW has been able to sustain their fundraising through larger individual gifts and one-time corporate gifts. Knowing this isn’t a consistent model for the future, SEUW Board of Directors leadership and staff have worked diligently to identify the strategic pillars that will help guide them into the future.