Show of a strong labor force amid tech giant layoffs for some South Dakota tech companies

With more tech workers being laid off by tech giants, South Dakota tech companies seem to be...
With more tech workers being laid off by tech giants, South Dakota tech companies seem to be doing better.(Humberto Giles-Sanchez)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:13 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - More than 69,000 workers in the U.S. tech industry have been laid off since the start of 2023. That’s according to, and there seems to be no end in sight as tech giants continue to lay off workers.

More tech giants have announced layoffs, and companies like Google, Dell, and PayPal have been slashing jobs citing overhiring during periods of rapid growth. In South Dakota, some tech companies aren’t facing those issues.

“A lot of the tech layoffs that have happened out on the coast have been because of a lot of experimental or a lot of cash being thrown at ideas that may or may not function or work. It happened at Meta, Meta tried several different creating several different new companies, and those that didn’t stick, they laid off all of those employees,” said Omnitech partner Chad Vondra.

At the South Dakota Mines career fair on Tuesday, the growth of tech companies around Rapid City and the Black Hills area was hinted at by the director of career services he explained this year at the career fair, they hosted two more tech companies from the area.

“Each year, Rapid City seems to add new jobs, and so for this career fair. This year we have 28 employers from the Black Hills area,” said Career Services at South Dakota Mines director Matthew Hanley.

Companies like Omnitech, Phase Technologies, RPM innovations, and Property Meld have seen steady growth compared to coastal tech companies because of a more quote “Mid-Western” business practice.

“That doesn’t happen in the Mid-West, especially in the South Dakota area, because we are somewhat sheltered from the economic downturns that happen,” said Vondra.

Vondra stressed that company growth in the Midwest is usually based on demand.

“We tend to grow as needed, rather than growing individuals and growing our companies to expect traffic to come or to expect business to come. We grow our companies based on what is the current demand and keeping up with that demand,” explained Vondra.

Most of the time, when people mention tech companies, South Dakota isn’t the first state that comes to mind. But the industry is steadily growing.

Some of the largest traded tech companies in the state like Raven Industries, Daktronics, and Black Hills Corporation, continue to put the state upfront in the tech scene.