Gagne said they moved to Seattle after they graduated. In 2004, they moved back to the Black Hills to raise their family.

He said he thinks if the region is able to retain the late 20- to early 30-year-olds, it could bring a vibrancy to the area as well as bring in a professional environment to the community.

“Those are people with more disposable income,” he said. “Basically we start to round out areas that maybe we don’t have as strong an offering for those kinds of urban professionals that want to grow and build a family here.”

Bill Trevillyan, CEO of HomeMetrics and product manager for Property Meld, said he came to the School of Mines because it was a cheap option for school, but stayed because he was able to get experience working while at Property Meld.

Trevillyan also said it allows him to learn about the needs of a company.

“If it wasn’t for Property Meld, I’d be in California,” he said. “It also would probably mean the company I currently have wouldn’t have the team that it has.”

HomeMetrics sells home health monitoring technology that allows property owners to keep an eye on their homes while they’re away. Trevillyan said his team is filled with students currently enrolled at the School of Mines.

“When you hire people on your team, you’re not hiring them based on their technical abilities or being able to create and invent technology,” Trevillyan said. “You’re hiring them on their ability to learn, you’re hiring on their mindset, do they have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.”