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FEATURE STORY: Technology Company Credits South Dakota Workforce for its Continued Success


FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CONTACT: Natalie Likness, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, 605.773.GOED (4633)


Technology Company Credits South Dakota Workforce for its Continued Success 


Written by: Jen Lambley, Governor’s Office of Economic Development


DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. – It is often said that when one door shuts, another one opens. And, from the perspective of Brad Moore, President and CEO of Sterling Computers, no truer words have been spoken.


When Gateway left North Sioux City, S.D., in the early 2000s, it left behind a talented workforce with more than 20 years of industry experience. Which was just the thing that Sterling, a growing technology solutions company, needed.


“Our business really got a jump start,” said Moore. “We were in growth mode, and everything that our company was going through, our employees had been through before. The workforce in South Dakota was key to helping us navigate the challenges of fast growth and was instrumental in our success.”


A Little Background:

Sterling Computers, now located in Dakota Dunes, S.D., began in 1996 in California by Moore’s cousin and his wife, Troy and Maggie Jones. By 2002, Moore and several other relatives had joined the family business and relocated the corporate headquarters to Nebraska. Moore and his wife, Jean, were living in Dakota Dunes at the time.


Moore saw an opportunity for Sterling in the area because of the plenitude of experienced workers in the technology field. So, in 2013, the couple became majority stockholders of the company and decided to relocate the headquarters to Dakota Dunes.


“We found a wealth of talent in the Sioux City area left over from Gateway and its supporting businesses,” said Moore.


What Sterling Computers Does:

Unlike Gateway, Sterling doesn’t produce or manufacture technology. Instead, it takes elements that are already available and manufactured by major brands, such as Dell EMC and Cisco, and make them work better, together.


For example, storage needs are on an incredible trajectory. Individuals need more digital storage space for their photos, videos and messages through their various devices. Likewise, the needs of companies and government entities are growing, too. The federal government, which is the company’s largest client, captures data from numerous collection points and needs a way to sort, retrieve and secure that data in a cost-effective, accessible and secure way.


Sterling acts as a one-stop-shop, combining products, assessments, and an in-depth knowledge of specialty IT practices to install and deploy technology solutions to customers across the US.


Good at What They Do:

As the largest technology company in the state, Sterling has won numerous industry awards and recognitions. The company was recently named Dell EMC’s Partner of the Year, a distinction it’s earned twice in the last four years. It has also won an equivalent recognition from HPE and has been featured on Washington Technology’s Top 100 List of Government Contractors as well as the Inc 5000. In 2018, the company claimed the No. 1 spot on the prestigious Air Force contract, NETCENTS-2.


And, while Moore credits much of the company’s success to the workforce, he also credits South Dakota’s favorable business climate, tax structure, ease of doing business and quality of life.


“My wife and I may have moved to South Dakota because of our family ties, but we moved Sterling to South Dakota because of the favorable tax structure and ease of doing business in the state,” Moore said. “We are happy to be in South Dakota.”


Moore said that while former Gateway employees make up much of Sterling’s current workforce, he has also been very successful at recruiting nationally and getting people to South Dakota.


“We are finding that people want the same thing in South Dakota that we do – a high quality of life, low cost of living, and no income tax,” Moore said. “I know if we were anyplace else, we wouldn’t have had the level of success that we’ve had.”


More Growth Ahead:

Next on the horizon for Sterling: an expansion project. The company has outgrown its current facility and headquarters, and has acquired an 82,000 square-foot, two-story office building in North Sioux City. The kicker? The building is part of the former Gateway campus.


“We are very excited and plan to remodel and refurbish what is known as the Pacific part of the former Gateway facility,” said Moore. “We have always been a lot more interested in repurposing than building new. There is a certain satisfaction and challenge with revitalization.”


There have been some smaller companies in parts of the building in the time between Gateway’s occupation and Sterling’s acquisition, but for the most part, the facility has been untouched.


“We went into what was an old conference room, and there was a white board with some of our employee’s names and notes on it, from over 15 years ago,” said Moore. “What’s more, is some of those employees will be returning to the same building they worked in when they were employed by Gateway. It is interesting to watch some of these things come full-circle.”


Moore says that they are currently in the middle of the design process and hope to start construction in July. Sterling currently employs 150, but the new facility will be built for 250 to accommodate future growth.