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Broadcaster Press 3 October 10, 2017 www.broadcasteronline.com Amid Crises, Two South Dakota Manufacturing Companies Answer The Call PIERRE, S.D. – Emergencies. It seems like lately our newsfeed has been inundated with reports of emergencies happening around the globe. From natural and environmental disasters to civil disturbances, there are many parts of our world that are under extreme duress these days. But through it all and in times of need and tragedy, emergency response crews answer the call, and it may surprise you that many of those emergency responders have ties to South Dakota. That’s right. Tucked away in two small eastern South Dakota communities are two manufacturing companies that produce fire engines, pumpers, aerials, tankers and more. Rosenbauer South Dakota is located in Lyons, S.D. – population 60. The company’s combined footprint of 177,500 square feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing space sprawls across 21 acres of land in 10 different buildings. What makes this company particularly interesting is that it employs more than 300 people who assemble a variety of fire apparatuses, or fire trucks, for an estimated 700 vehicles per year. “It’s actually quite remarkable the number of finished products that leave our facility. Our trucks virtually cover every corner of the globe. From right here in South Dakota, to Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala and Palestine, if there’s a red ‘R’ on the front of the truck, it’s one of ours,” said Scott Oyen, CEO of Rosenbauer South Dakota. “It’s very rewarding to know that our products help people every single day.” But what makes this particular corner of our world exceptionally unique is that down the road less than 25 miles away in Brandon, S.D., is one of Rosenbauer’s competitors. Spartan ERV, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, employs almost 200 full-time workers in Brandon. Just like in Lyons, Spartan’s manufacturing crews assemble emergency response vehicles such as pumpers, aerials, tankers and wildland trucks that are shipped across the globe. “Our products are present in the United States in almost all 50 states, Canada, China, Chile, Peru and Brazil,” said Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, Inc. “In our Michigan campus, we also produce Mountain Climbing By Daris Howard I was scoutmaster to eighteen boys. They had tried to challenge me at different times, and they had always come out the losers. Once fourteen of them tried to throw me in a lake, and I got twelve of them in before the other two ran off. They didn’t give up easily, though, and were determined to get me. But then they learned I had a major weakness. I had promised the boys that I would do anything they wanted to do as long as it was safe and we stayed within the scout guidelines. One day we hiked a high mountain, and they realized I was deathly afraid of heights. The mountain trail ran along a canyon wall. The other side of the trail was a steep drop to a river far below. I hugged the canyon wall, and the boys noticed. “Daris, are you afraid of heights?” Gordy asked. “Me,” I said sarcastically. “Of course not. I’m just friends with the rocks on this wall.” The boys smiled at each other, and I knew they had something whirring around in their brains. At the scout meeting the next week, as we planned for the following month, the boys grinned as Gordy made the announcement. “We have decided we are going to work on the mountain climbing merit badge.” “It’s getting awful late in the fall, don’t you think?” I protested. “You said you would do any scout thing we wanted to do,” Mort said. “But I also said it had to be safe,” I complained. My assistant scoutmaster could see what was going on, and he just grinned. He, too, had seen me on the hike and knew just what the boys were thinking. And the more I tried to get out of it, the more determined the boys were to go. At one scout camp in the mountains is a very tall climbing tower. It is far taller than any other climbing object in the area except for a mountain itself. This is what the boys wanted to climb, or I should say, this is what they wanted to see me climb. Mort said he’d see if he could schedule for us to go on a weekend. I secretly prayed it would be over-booked. But it wasn’t, and the next weekend we were all loading into my van and Rod’s pickup to make the climb. Once we arrived, we had to go through lots of instruction. Finally, it was time to climb. All of the boys and Rod climbed, then it was my turn. I was connected to a rope which went to the top of the tower and from there down to Gordy, who was harnessed to a post. Shakily, I made my way slowly up the tower with the boys all cheering, or more appropriately, mocking me. Finally, I made it to the top. But the scout tower director would not let me climb on top. “You’ve got to let go and trust your belayer, the person holding the rope, to let you down.” “Are you crazy!” I said. “I wouldn’t trust him to fetch water right now.” “Well, then,” he said, “you will have to hang there until you are too tired and have to let go.” I finally decided I couldn’t hold on anymore, so I asked Gordy if he was ready. He said he was, so I let go. Gordy was so confident in his ability to hold me that his harness was loosely buckled with some straps not connected at all. When I let go, my weight coming down jerked him out of the harness. He flew to the wall and slid up it as I slid down, both of us scraping on the plastic and wood blocks, passing each other in the middle. When I finally hit the ground, I wasn’t badly hurt, but my heart was pounding so hard I thought I’d have a heart attack. “Hey, let me down,” Gordy called as he dangled near the top of the tower. “I ought to cut the rope and let you drop,” I called back. “But at least that’s over with.” “Au contraire,” the tower director said. “For the merit badge, you have to do it three times.” That was one of the few times in life I really felt like maiming someone. (To be continued.) Get your ad in the.. Classifieds Today! the so-called ‘dark ages’ to where it is today. Now our employees are working on computers and robots and applying engineering principles on the manufacturing floor. We need to take a more proactive approach to getting our kids and educators in the doors of manufacturing companies, because at the end of the day, I really believe manufacturing is the lifeblood of our country’s economy. Without it, we’ll crumble.” Both Rosenbauer and Spartan are currently hiring for a variety of positions in the South Dakota campuses. Interested applicants can go to www.rosenbaueramerica. com and www.spartanerv.com to view available jobs. To find ways you can get involved in South Dakota Manufacturing Week, go to sdreadytopartner.com/sdmfgweek or contact Natalie Likness, media relations coordinator, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, at natalie.likness@sdreadytowork.com. 2017 Governor’s Awards Presented PIERRE, S.D. – Lt. Gov. Matt Michels presented the 2017 Governor’s Awards today to South Dakota businesses and workers who have made significant contributions to the employment of people with disabilities. Governor’s Awards were presented to the following recipients: Koni Sims of Sioux Falls is legally blind due to a rare eye disease called Aniridia. After acquiring her degree, Sims began work with Sanford University of South Dakota Medical Center where she developed the current hospital massage program. Outside of work, Sims is the current president of the Siouxland Chapter of the South Dakota Association of the Blind. For these achievements, Sims was awarded the Outstanding Citizen with a Disability Award. Tami Francis of Sioux Falls sought help from the Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired after losing her vision. Francis returned to school and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and went on to purchase a coat manufacturing business, Dakota Etcetera. Francis donates coats from her business to those in need and is an active member of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. Francis was awarded the Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award for her efforts. Pizza Ranch of Spearfish retains individuals with disabilities as part of their winning workforce, and they have been recognized as the Outstanding Private Employer (Small Employer Category). Owners Ted and Jill Schilling partner within their community to promote a diverse workforce, offering equal employment opportunities for all. County Fair Food Store of Mitchell has been serving the Mitchell area since 1984. County Fair Food Store was today’s recipient of the Outstanding Private Employer (Large Employer Category). They partner with community support providers and other local organizations to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Meri Erickson of Groton has assisted over 100 students with disabilities to transition from high school to the adult world in her 31 years of working at Groton High School. For that reason, Erickson has been selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Transition Services Award. Yankton Area Mental Wellness Inc. began in 1999 as a mental wellness conference. Since achieving incorporation in 2000, Yankton Area Mental Wellness Inc. has promoted mental health careers, provided resources to providers and families, and partnered with the school district and others in Yankton. For this, Yankton Area Mental Wellness Inc. received the Distinguished Service Award. The 2017 Governor’s Awards ceremony was co-sponsored by the Board of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Board of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Statewide Independent Living Council, and the South Dakota Department of Human Services. Experience all-day comfort and support. 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CALL 624-4429 ••• FAX 624-2696 ••• EMAIL classifieds@plaintalk.net ••• ONLINE BroadcasterOnline.com ••• DROP BY 201 W. Cherry, Vermillion other emergency response vehicles, as well as non-emergency vehicles, too. Spartan is very integrated and we’ve seen tremendous growth, especially in the last several years.” Between Rosenbauer and Spartan, there’s no denying South Dakota’s impact on emergency assistance goes beyond the average call of duty. At Rosenbauer, Oyen says several employees serve as volunteer firefighters, so their work hits close to home. “There’s a sense of ownership in their work because they know the value of an emergency response vehicle in an emergency situation,” Oyen said. “We’re incredibly fortunate to have the people we have working for us.” And although Oyen says the company keeps up with production as best they can, he admits they’re experiencing the same workforce shortage many manufacturing companies across the nation are facing, too. Something Adams says he knows all too well. “I think it simply boils down to a lack of involvement and understanding from a public perspective,” Adams said. “Manufacturing has almost completely moved away from Save Up To $2250 With Manufacturer Rebates & Utility Incentives HEATING & COOLING after more than a century, we’re still inventing new ways to keep you comfortable, no matter the season. Call your dealer Today! 2401 Broadway, Yankton 605-665-9461 www.larrysheatingandcooling.com * GRAIN AUGERS * GRAIN CARTS * HEADER CARTS IN STOCK NEW AND USED - ALL SIZES! USED GRAIN EQUIPMENT UNVERFERTH 9200 – 1,000 BU CART KILLBROS 490 – 500 BUSHEL CART BRENDT 572 – 500 BU CART – W/TARP J&M 500 BU CART – CORNER AUGER PARKER 6500 – 650 BU CART – CORNER AUGER WESTFIELD 13X71 AUGER W/HOPPER HARVEST INTL 10X84 AUGER W/HOPPER HARVEST INTL 10X72 AUGER W/HOPPER – LOTS MORE USED AUGERS AND CARTS – 3211 E. 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