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Q&A: How is the State Addressing Workforce Issues?

As workforce issues continue to be the forefront of the minds of business and community leaders, many are wondering what is being done to attract workforce.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development continues to look for innovative and creative ways to market the state.  Check out to view the videos we have created to promote life in South Dakota. We are also running an aggressive ad campaign in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado touting all the available jobs in South Dakota.

Our end goal is to drive them to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation website where available jobs are listed. Because we work so closely with DLR on this effort, we thought we’d check in with DLR Secretary Marcia Hultman and see what’s new in her department.
Q: There have been/will be some changes to the online SDWORKS jobs database. How will the updates improve the user experience?
A: We have many changes in the works. Our goal is for the new management information system to be fully functional at this time next year. When the revamping of our job posting and job search database is complete, users will find things to be greatly simplified. The behind-the-scenes tools will allow job matches to be done based on skills, abilities, education, and experience rather than a generic job code. This will allow employers to more accurately describe who they are looking for, and job seekers will be evaluated on what they can actually do rather than just the titles of the jobs last held.

An additional bonus is the public will have greater access to real-time labor market data relevant to workforce trends allowing for more informed personal, career, and policy decision making. Check out
Q: What industries are you seeing the most interest in from potential employees?
A: Overall, the state is seeing an increase of interest in the technical fields. This can be directly attributed to the Build Dakota Scholarship program and employers’ investment in training their future workforce.
Q: What is new with the Dakota Roots Program?
I am excited about our newly redesigned Dakota Roots website. The goal of the update was to create a simplified, yet visually dynamic platform that helps to tell our story through photos and testimonials of actual Dakota Roots participants. Other features available on the website include career exploration tools, quality of life facts, the GOED’s real wage calculator, relocation tips, and information about doing business in South Dakota.

Dakota Roots continues to be one of our most successful recruitment programs. Since it launched nine years ago, 26,233 people have registered online. 4,186 individuals have gained employment and moved to South Dakota through our one-on-one assistance from all 50 states. The average age is 36 years old, which to us indicates we’re gaining a whole family nearly every day.
Q: The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) test is moving into high schools. Can you provide some background on this move and explain the objective of obtaining the certificate?
A: The high school project is the result of Department of Education (DOE) and DLR coming together with a common goal of preparing our youth for the world of work. DOE has recognized the certificate as a means of demonstrating work readiness, which is one of its accountability measures. DLR also views the NCRC as a way to show an individual if he has the foundational skills for the career he wants. If skills are lacking, it helps in the formulation of what is next as far as education and training. If a student is going directly into the workforce, the certificate becomes a tool to demonstrate workplace related skills to a potential employer.

DLR is encouraging employers to consider the NCRC as baseline requirement for employment, much as high school equivalency has been considered in the past.

On the Blog...

Check out this wrap-up post on our blog and read about wealth, homeowners and drivers!

Dates to Remember

April 13 - Governor's Economic Development Conference, Sioux Falls

April 13 - Governor's Giant Vision Competition, Sioux Falls

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This is a publication of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Commissioner-Pat Costello; Deputy Commissioner-Aaron Scheibe; Marketing and Public Relations Director-Mary Lehecka Nelson; Editor and Designer-Jennifer Lambley. © Copyright 2015