Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., made a stop at DeGeest Steel Works Co. April 16.
DeGeest is located in the Hagedorn Industrial Park near the airport. They are a third generation family business that was established in 1976. They specialize in complex and large production steel weldments for Original Equipment Manufacturers.
Thune toured the facility and learned more about what they produce there. He also learned that they partner with the Tea Area High School to help them get a South Dakota Workforce Education Grant for opening a technical training program. DeGeest is helping support a welding program curriculum, building work benches, screens and supplying steel for classes.
DeGeest has also partnered with area schools and colleges to help expose students to opportunities in manufacturing. They hosted 60 Lake Area Technical Institute students April 17. The company wanted to show them the advances in their industry and how the skills they are learning can be applied.
Thune also got to see the company’s paint line and their expansion for a new paint system. DeGeest is planning to open that portion of their facility in June.
Derek Degeest, president of DeGeest Steel, led Thune through the tour of the facility.
Last month, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced Derek Degeest as the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year for South Dakota. He is a nominee for the 2019 Small Business Person of the Year from the 53 winners across the United States and territories.