Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

This manufacturer makes LED displays in South Dakota.

Your team is thisclose to winning the championship game, and you look to the scoreboard to see how much time is left. Chances are that scoreboard was made in South Dakota, by Daktronics.

Daktronics was founded in 1968 by Drs. Aelred Kurtenbach and Duane Sander, professors of electrical engineering at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.

“[They] wanted to create jobs for students that were graduating from South Dakota State University so they wouldn’t have to leave the state to find employment.” - Justin Ochsner, Daktronics

The company has grown from its humble beginnings to 720,560 square feet of manufacturing space in Brookings, as well as Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Redwood Falls, Minnesota; and er, China. That said, the vast majority of their products are made in their U.S. facilities. The company currently employs approximately 2,500 people in the U.S., 1,500 in Brookings alone.   

Along with creating jobs in South Dakota, the company credits its location in the United States for its ability to provide excellent customer service to their clients. In fact, Daktronics has installations in 75 percent of the big four professional sports stadiums (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey). If you've gone to a pro sports game, you've probably seen one yourself.  

“It’s a lot easier for us to turn around projects for them on much faster timelines, including replacements if needed or service and support,” Ochsner said. “We’re right there. We have people located within roughly two hours of every installation that we have in the U.S. Our employees live in those communities and we can be there quickly to support our customers.”

Daktronics supports American jobs while bringing us the scores at America’s favorite pastimes.