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2019 Small Business of the Year Award

DeGeest Steel Works is a family-owned contract job shop specializing in complex and large carbon steel weldments for over forty-two years. The company welds, paints, cuts, fabricates and operates a full line of robotic welders sending their parts to every state and every continent, except Antarctica.

Derek DeGeest’s grandfather, Clint, was a welder in the Navy and when he retired from service, he began working in manufacturing. Clint and his wife eventually opened DeGeest Manufacturing in 1976 and utilized the SBA 7(a) loan program in 1979. Derek’s father, Scott, his brother and his wife are all active in the company.

In 2013, the custom fabricator moved to a new, larger building and with a new building came the new name, DeGeest Steel Works. With the assistance of the Sioux Falls Small Business Development Center, the DeGeests obtained two SBA 504 loans in 2018 totaling over $4.1 million for an addition to their building, equipment and additional staff.

The company’s 45 employees are important to them and that is evident by the employee retention and the fact that everyone is included as part of a team and treated like family. DeGeest not only emphasizes treating employees well, but also shows concern for customer needs and requirements as many of their clients will attest.

As part of a task force within the manufacturing and construction industry, DeGeest company representatives worked with state government officials and education institutions to address the growing demand for workforce in manufacturing. The company is also involved with Project Lead the Way program in area schools to get students interested in STEM careers. South Dakota Manufacturing and Technology Solutions recognized DeGeest for their participation in the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” program.

Company Name: 
DeGeest Steel Works, Co.
Location: 
Tea, South Dakota 57064