Sioux Falls Growing Pains: workforce and housing

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As the word spreads across the nation about the business climate in Sioux Falls, many businesses are making their move here. An Amazon fulfillment center, FedEx distribution center, and the Wholestone Farms pork processing plant will soon be joining existing businesses looking for employees.

Sioux Falls Development Foundation is getting creative in reaching out to those living nearby with a social media and mailer campaign. Bob Mundt is the President and CEO.

“It is a tremendous need over the next several years to bring people Sioux Falls to work the jobs that we’re creating and so we’re being really creative as to how we do that, looking at how we can reach out to other communities,” said Mundt.

The campaign is targeting residents throughout the midwest.

“Minneapolis, Twin Cities area, Des Moines, Sioux City, Council Bluffs Omaha, Fargo,” said Mundt. “A lot of production jobs. We need a lot of specialized jobs, skilled level jobs.”

Another challenge for those relocating is finding a place to live.

“I think it’s a challenge that we have, is to come up with a way to have more housing and the affordable housing areas,” said Mundt. “And so I think when we really talk about housing, that’s probably the next big thing. We’re going to have to push hard on is making sure that we have places for those folks to live.”

The push can’t come fast enough for realtors and property managers. Amy Miller has owned Charisma Property Management.

“We have people coming in from all over the country to South Dakota,” said Miller. “High demand for three bedrooms, four bedrooms, even our one, and two bedrooms are moving fast.”

And those finding a vacancy don’t waste their time. Miller says if you’re looking for a place to live, the best time to contact a property manager is on the first of the month when other tenants have just given their notice.

“The leasing agent will come and do our video walkthrough with her phone, but there’s still a lot of people that are just taking it to sight unseen,” said Miller.

If there was a change in the timing to approve new construction, housing needs could be met sooner.

“The petitions that come from neighborhoods because people don’t want multifamily dwellings in their neighborhoods. They’re afraid it’s going to devalue the properties,” said Miller. “And so you have to go through the process of council meetings the hearings to try to get it zoned so it can be approved. I understand why people complain and don’t want it, but at the same time, it pushes back the ability for the investors and the builders to get started, because it just holds up the process.”

The growing pains of a community require taking care of businesses, employees, and the neighborhoods in which they live.

“So we have to remember we have a lot of existing companies here that need employees as well, so the more competition we create, the greater the need for us to bring more people here to this market to be able to work those jobs,” said Mundt. “So it’s kind of a balancing act to figure out how much do we recruit people and how much do we recruit companies.”

Mundt continues to send the message. South Dakota is a great place to work and live.

“We just want people to come to Sioux Falls and become part of our community,” said Mundt.

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