Employment recruiters on a two-day tour of East River communities heard from local Madison businesses about their personnel needs and what they could offer employees. The participants met with management from organizations that included Madison Community Hospital, Manitou-Gehl, Dakota State University, FirstLine Funding Group and Bulldog Media Group at the headquarters of East River Electric Power Cooperative.

Julie Gross, executive director of the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, helped organize the Madison stop for a job opportunities showcase sponsored by Advantage South Dakota. The Advantage South Dakota group held the Tuesday, October 1st and Wednesday, October 2nd bus tour to demonstrate the economic and employment opportunities available in the James River Valley.

Tammy Miller, CEO at Madison Community Hospital, described the local hospital as a small, 25-bed facility which is independent from larger South Dakota health-care organizations. Miller stated the hospital, which is currently constructing a new facility on the south side of Madison, presently employs about 200 individuals and every staff member, from housekeepers to doctors, perform important duties.

Miller told the recruiters that the health-care industry across the nation faced looming shortages of medical personnel.

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. Borofsky stated there were a number of staff positions currently open at DSU.

Kim Kringen from FirstLine Funding Group in Madison said the commercial finance company has continued to grow since it was created in 2009 as a division of First Bank & Trust, and was presently looking to expand its operations into the North Dakota oil fields. According to Kringen, FirstLine Funding Group employs staff ranging in age from college students to seniors and provides flexible working hours. The business' current personnel needs include a receptionist, personnel in document management and collections, as well as Spanish-speaking employees.

Dustin Williams, plant manager of Manitou-Gehl, said the Madison manufacturing plant currently employs 275 individuals 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 over 13 years ago with one website but currently operates multiple websites, and partners with companies across the US, as well as abroad. Sims stated that Bulldog Media Group was currently seeking individuals with skills in web and software development. According to Sims, over a third of their employees have worked at Bulldog Media Group for 10+ years.

Other communities that the Sioux Falls recruiters were scheduled to visit included DeSmet, Milbank, Webster, Aberdeen, Redfield, Huron, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Freeman and Yankton.

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