Freedom Works Here
By: Governor Kristi Noem
June 23, 2023
“South Dakota is hiring. As the first state to bounce back from the pandemic, we’ve got one of the nation’s strongest economies – and more jobs than we can fill.” That’s my own line from one of our new nationwide workforce recruitment ads, “Freedom Flows Here.” I’ve been talking about South Dakota’s “growing pains” for a while. They’re the unique challenges that have come from our unique success. And the only way to get through these growing pains is to think outside of the box.
We’re launching a new nationwide recruitment campaign, Freedom Works Here, to use that kind of out-of-the-box thinking to tackle our workforce challenges. Three years ago, we launched a nationwide tourism campaign, and we’ve consistently broken records ever since. I am confident that this campaign will have the same success.
South Dakota has the lowest unemployment in American history. Our people are working. But even with our 1.9% unemployment rate, our state still has 25,000 open jobs. We need to recruit more workers to fill these positions. For folks interested in moving here, we will provide job search assistance to match them with the right career for themselves and their families.
The campaign includes television ads like “First Day,” which emphasizes our openness to out-of-state occupational licenses. We’ll also utilize direct marketing through digital ads and direct mail. We are up to 567 total inquiries from the workforce campaign in the first 48 hours. The top three states for inquiries have been California, New York, and Florida.
We are going to continue to build our winning workforce by welcoming new families to South Dakota. And we’re not just welcoming these folks – we have done everything we can to make sure they will feel right at home. Earlier this year, I signed legislation to recognize out-of-state professional licenses for nearly every profession. This will allow our new South Dakotans to join our workforce as quickly and easily as possible. We are eliminating excessive red tape and helping families kickstart their new lives here.
In 2022, South Dakota issued the most new building permits for houses of any state in the nation: 1,035 housing units per 100,000 residents. When families move to South Dakota, they are going to be able to find a place to live.
And we just passed new rules for child care licensing to make it easier for new South Dakotans to find child care for their kids. Families who decide to move to South Dakota will have the assurance that their children have access to safe, excellent, and affordable child care. We have always been focused on building strong families in our state, and now our new citizens will be able to start working without having to worry about the wellbeing of their kiddos.
I am so proud of how far South Dakota has come. We have taken the challenges that have been thrown at us over the last few years and come out stronger than ever before. But the thing I love most about South Dakotans is that we never say, “that’s good enough.” Instead, we set the bar – and then we raise it. That is exactly what we are doing with this national workforce recruitment campaign. We are showing America that we never settle. We are showing America that South Dakota is the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.
We are showing America that Freedom Works Here.