Sioux Falls recruiters visit Madison leaders
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Madison businesspersons spoke about their personnel needs and what they could offer employees when they hosted a group of employment recruiters on Tuesday who were making a two-day tour of East River communities.
Mayor Roy Lindsay speaks with Mary Simmons from AvailAbility Employment Services on Tuesday morning after representatives from local companies spoke about their current and future personnel needs with a group of Sioux Falls recruiters.
About eight recruiters from Sioux Falls met with management from organizations that included Madison Community Hospital, Manitou-Gehl, Dakota State University, FirstLine Funding Group and Bulldog Media. The participants met at midmorning at the headquarters of East River Electric Power Cooperative.
Julie Gross, executive director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, helped to organize the Madison stop for a job opportunities showcase sponsored by Advantage South Dakota. The Advantage South Dakota group held the Tuesday and Wednesday bus tour to demonstrate the economic and employment opportunities available in the James River Valley.
Tammy Miller, CEO at Madison Community Hospital, told the group that she and her husband had attended Dakota State University and stayed in Madison for more than 35 years after their graduation. Miller described the local hospital as a small, 25-bed facility which is independent from larger South Dakota health-care organizations such as Avera McKennan and Sanford Health.
According to Miller, independent described how Madison's hospital operated "...in our decision-making, not how we deliver care to our patients." She said Madison Community Hospital currently employs about 200 persons with each staff member from housekeepers to doctors performing important duties.
Miller told the recruiters that the health-care industry across the nation faced looming shortages of medical personnel. She said the Madison hospital assisted about 80 outpatients each day and cared for about eight inpatients daily.
Miller and other speakers also pointed out that the hospital organization was currently constructing a new hospital facility on the south side of Madison.
Dr. David Borofsky, DSU president, told the recruiters that "...there is a lot happening at DSU at this time." Borofsky said that the university planned to purchase the current hospital property located on the north side of the campus.
According to Borofsky, out of all the staff positions currently open at DSU, the greatest demand centered on hiring a new foundation director.
"It's a huge need," Borofsky said. "Someone to help us raise money for scholarships."
Kim Kringen from FirstLine Funding Group in Madison said the commercial finance company was still continuing to grow since it was created in 2009 as a division of First Bank & Trust. Kringen told the recruiters that the Madison business was looking at expanding its operations into the North Dakota oil fields.
According to Kringen, FirstLine Funding employs staff ranging in age from college students to seniors, and the company provides flexible working hours. The business' current personnel needs include a receptionist and staff to work in document management and collections departments.
Kringen added that FirstLine was looking for Spanish-speaking employees who could assist the company's operations.
Dustin Williams, Manitou-Gehl plant manager, said the Madison manufacturing plant currently employs 275 persons for a company that sells about half of its products domestically and exports the other half to customers around the world.
Williams told the group that Gehl was seeking a purchasing agent and was also employing workers in shop positions, such as assemblers, welders and laser cutters.
Camelyn Sims of Bulldog Media Group said the online marketing company started 13 years ago with one website and currently operates multiple sites on the Internet. Bulldog Media currently employs about 18 persons and the company is looking for persons with skills in web and software development.
According to Sims, about a third of the employees have worked for Bulldog Media for the last 10 years. She pointed out that the business sector required its personnel to stay current with the latest technology, saying there was "...a lot of continued learning in the area."
Other communities that the Sioux Falls recruiters were scheduled to visit included DeSmet, Milbank, Webster, Aberdeen, Redfield, Huron, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Freeman and Yankton.