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Dakota Seeds Continues To Grow

More Than One-Third Students Hired Full Time

Since 2008, a growing number of South Dakota companies have utilized the Dakota Seeds program, and like many of those companies, Masaba Mining Equipment of Vermillion has found success.

“Dakota Seeds is a great, great, great program,” said Jerad Higman, president at Masaba. “The interns have been extremely prepared, knowledgeable and willing to learn.”

Masaba has hired five interns through the program and two of them became full-time employees upon graduation. Another two have yet to graduate.

“I’d like to hire them both right now, but they’re not done with school yet,” Higman said.

For Jackie Thomas, a former intern and project engineer at Masaba, the job offer was particularly beneficial because Vermillion is her hometown.

“Dakota Seeds offered me an amazing internship experience that led to a full-time job when I graduated. Because of the program, my job search was much smaller, much easier and much less stressful than many of my classmates’ experiences,” Thomas said. “I grew up in Vermillion, so it was really nice to come home.”

Thomas attended college out-of-state and landed her internship the summer before graduation. She says that through the course of the internship, she liked the degree of responsibility she had and is back because she says working for Masaba is great because of its “excellent overall professional job environment.”

Higman also said that he has heard plenty of positive feedback with the Dakota Seeds internship experience.

He said, “Everyone that I’ve talked to that has gone through the program says that they are extremely happy with the experience and are more likely to stay in South Dakota.”

“As a business owner, the program speaks volumes about the state. Not only are they investing in South Dakota companies, they are investing in their future workforce,” Higman concluded.

Number of internships created since program's inception: 384
Number of internships created this year: 127
Number of companies involeved since inception: 118
Number of Companies involved this year: 53
Percentage of students offered positions after internship (cumulative or this year): 32% (Cumulative)