Watertown Workforce Advisory Council Announces 2022 Excellence in Manufacturing Awards

WATERTOWN, S.D.– The Watertown Workforce Advisory council kicked off South Dakota’s Manufacturing Week by announcing the winners of the first Excellence in Manufacturing Awards to manufacturing employees in seven categories for outstanding work in their field. Those categories included machine operators, material handlers, painters and prep, production support, welders, working leads and supervisors, and all other production roles.


Nominated by fellow peers and selected by members of the Manufacturing Week Committee, the 2022 award recipients are Brandon Saeger from Macksteel Warehouse, Shawn Bradberry from Terex Utilities, Neil Warne from ESCO Manufacturing, Jeremy Raap from Terex Utilities, David Veflin from Terex Utilities, Al Young from Benchmark Foam, and Ian Madsen from Terex Utilities.


In addition to a certificate of recognition, each recipient was awarded $100 in Chamber Bucks and entered into a drawing for the grand prize. Ian Madsen from Terex Utilities was the proud winner of The Kettle, a smokeless fire pit manufactured and donated by Macksteel.


“We want to recognize all manufacturing employees, and thank them for the work that they do to keep our economy growing,” said Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director of the Watertown Development Company. “Congratulations to the award winners, whose efforts every day represent a commitment to excellence by both the employees and the employers they represent.”


South Dakota Manufacturing Week begins the week prior to the first Friday in October. This week-long celebration aims to honor the contributions of the manufacturing sector by recognizing and sharing information about the work and achievements the sector has done in the last year and its impact on South Dakota’s economy.

Watertown Development Company to Receive State Workforce Program Funds

WATERTOWN, S.D. – Watertown Development Company is proud to announce the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has awarded the organization a workforce recruitment grant in the amount of $100,000.


“Workforce continues to be our biggest challenge and will be for the foreseeable future.  It’s exciting to see GOED make workforce recruitment a priority and offer partnership opportunities to communities across the state.  We will use these funds to enhance our Attract and Enhance workforce program, providing more incentives as we work with our existing businesses to attract employees.,” said Mark Vaux, Watertown Development Company’s Executive Director.


In August, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced a workforce recruitment program to inform out-of-state jobseekers that South Dakota businesses across the state are hiring.


Communities were invited to apply for funding, which would be distributed based on the partnership commitment, and the quality of jobs available.


The two-part workforce initiative includes an opportunity for both marketing as well as incentives for workforce recruitment in local communities across the state. The digital marketing effort will promote both businesses and communities looking for help. Incentives such as relocation bonuses, signing bonuses, and upskilling are also included.


With both initiatives, GOED will provide Watertown Development Company funds, to be matched by both the economic development organization and local businesses.


A state-wide workforce campaign has already begun, and individual community campaigns anticipate launching in October throughout the states of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, California, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Colorado.

Watertown Development Company Launches Co.Starters Program for Enterpreneurs

WATERTOWN, SD, SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 — Watertown Development Company will soon offer CO.STARTERS Core, a national cohort-based accelerator program, aimed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners of all kinds with the insights, relationships, and tools needed to turn ideas into action.


This 10-session program is designed to help ideas gain momentum. The one requirement is that applicants have a concept or idea they are ready to test and are willing to study, shape, and fine-tune in a supportive, collaborative, and welcoming environment.


Registration fees will be waived for the first two cohorts thanks to a grant from the Small Business Administration and a partnership between Startup Sioux Falls and Dakota Resources.  Sessions will be facilitated by the Watertown Development Company staff members Michelle Kakacek, Executive Director, and Amanda Culhane, Marketing Specialist. Participants will hear from guest speakers including specialists and professionals from the Watertown area.


“We are thrilled at the opportunity to offer this resource to the area’s aspiring entrepreneurs and others who might be in business already but want to grow or innovate,” said Kakacek. “The curriculum looks at entrepreneurship in a fresh, accessible way and encourages mentorship and peer-to-peer learning.”


Individuals interested in the program can apply now. The application period will close on September 30, 2022. Participants will be notified the week of October 10 with the ten-session program beginning November 1. Sessions will take place every other Tuesday thereafter from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.wdcsd.com/costarters/.


If you are part of the business or educational community and would be interested in getting involved as a mentor, guest speaker, facilitator, or volunteer, please reach out to Amanda Culhane at amanda@wdcsd.com or 605-884-0340.


About Watertown Development Company

The Watertown Development Company (WDC) is a private, non-profit economic development company funded by private and public sector stakeholders. The WDC owns and operates buildings, land, and development areas for the economic benefit of the community. Since its establishment in 1947, its efforts have generated substantial impacts and benefits for many decades. The WDC has led strategies and been responsible for the creation of jobs and overall economic opportunity through programs designed to promote and increase the commercial, financial, and economic vitality of the Watertown and its citizens.

WDC Announces 50 New Jobs Coming to Watertown

A company from Detroit Lakes Minnesota will combine two of its locations and relocate them to Watertown.


Broadway Welding, Inc. plans to invest more than $5 million dollars to purchase building and equipment, creating approximately 50 new jobs over the next several years.


Broadway Welding, Inc. began operations in 2004 as a full-service manufacturing job shop. In 2012 they began manufacturing a full line of Skid Steer Attachments known as Legend Attachments and in 2015 GS Trailers first fish house frame was manufactured. The company now has over 3500 trailers on the road. In 2019 two additional product lines were added as they acquired Sprayflex Sprayers which builds field sprayers and Truflex Landrollers, manufacturing heavy duty land rollers. The company will first be moving GS Trailers manufacturing to Watertown with potential for other product lines to follow. The Watertown location will also have full job shop capabilities.


The Watertown Development Company worked with Broadway Welding to secure the expansion to Watertown.


“The decision to expand their manufacturing presence to Watertown is a strong testament to the region’s supportive environment for manufacturers,” Chris Schilken, Executive Director of the WDC said. “Companies from around the world continue to locate and expand in our area for its skilled workforce and top-tier institution of higher technical education, Lake Area Tech. The WDC is proud to have assisted with their relocation, and we look forward to their next phase of growth.”


To help in the relocation of the company, the WDC assisted with the purchase of the Terex main plant building located at 500 Oakwood Road. Although Terex has not moved from that location, Broadway Welding will lease the building to Terex until they are able to move to their new location in Mallard Pointe Business Park in Watertown.


“Innovative companies like Broadway Welding help to keep Watertown at the forefront of a rapidly evolving manufacturing industry,” Traci Stein, Director of  Marketing said. “The company has provided high-quality, well- paying jobs for hardworking people for nearly fifteen years. Their expansion into Watertown from Minnesota is a significant win, and we are grateful for their commitment to Watertown.”


Broadway Welding is expected to begin operations late this summer. For more information on the company, visit www.broadwaywelding.com

New Industrial Park in Watertown to Bring Major Job Growth

The Watertown Development Company (WDC) is stepping closer to the creation of a new industrial park west of Mallard Point Business Park after a land sale and transfer was completed on Thursday.


The future industrial park, located on the south side of U.S. Highway 212 and west of I-29, near the newly announced Terex Utilities location in Mallard Pointe Business Park, includes the purchase of approximately 73 acres of land south of Wal-Mart, with the other 23 acres coming from land that the city already owns in that area, totaling 96 acres.


The park is expected to lead to large-scale job creation and a big economic boost for Watertown. Historically, parks that have been developed in Watertown have created many new jobs for the community. The new site will also keep Watertown on the radar of companies looking to expand to South Dakota.


Even though the infrastructure of the park has yet to start, the behind-the-scenes work of gaining tenants is revving up.


Chris Schilken, Watertown Development Company Executive Director, said the WDC has already begun marketing the area and it’s capturing the attention of companies and site selectors. “Since the announcement of the Terex Utilities expansion in Mallard Pointe Business Park, we have had a lot of interest from companies who want to be near them, so we felt it was pretty important to get started on marketing the new park.”


Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron said the park would have a big impact on the area. “The acquisition of this land and development of it into a new industrial park is timed to meet the needs of Watertown’s growing industrial base.  It will provide a great location for expansion of existing businesses or attraction of new ones, so we are very excited to move forward with it.”