The Freedom to Work

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The Freedom to Work


By: Governor Kristi Noem

February 16, 2024


In South Dakota, we respect the Freedom to Work. That is what America was built on. We each have the Freedom to get up every morning and to provide for ourselves and our families. That’s the American Dream. South Dakotans continuously remind the rest of the country the value of hard work and the dignity it brings.


There are few professions where hard work, dedication, and passion are as significant as law enforcement. South Dakota is already the Freest state in America – I’m determined to make it the safest, too. The best way to do that is by putting more law enforcement officers on our streets.  The goal of our newest Freedom Works Here ad is to recruit more law enforcement officers to South Dakota. You can view “33 in a 65” here.


I always say that South Dakotans are some of the hardest working people I know. We still understand the value of hard work. And my goal as Governor has never been to create a government that does everything for people, but to create a government that empowers our people to do things for themselves.


When the pandemic hit and many states closed down, South Dakotans kept working. While other states were experiencing record high unemployment levels, we broke the national record for the lowest state unemployment less than a year ago.


We are creating opportunities for people to get into the career of their dreams. And we’re just getting started.


I knew that if we could just tell our story, Freedom-loving Americans from across the country would want to be a part of what we’re doing here. I knew that we needed to celebrate our success – then take the opportunity to capitalize and build on it. I knew that we had to show all of America that Freedom Works Here.


We are continuing the Freedom Works Here workforce recruitment campaign. This campaign is still less than a year old, and we’ve received thousands of applicants interested in moving to our state just through the program, not counting those who independently made the move. Thousands have already moved here!


After our first round of ads, I had businesses asking me how they could help us keep the campaign going. It quickly became clear that these ads were working, and that we needed to do more.  So we did some research into some of the most-needed professions in South Dakota. The results were professions like electricians, plumbers, welders, and even accountants, so we’ve targeted ads towards those professions.


These ads are so successful because they tell South Dakota’s story.


Our state licensing boards are reporting huge increases of out-of-state applicants seeking licenses in South Dakota – including a 78% increase in plumbers, a 44% increase in electricians, and a 43% increase in accountants. Our labor force has grown by more than 10,000 people in just the last year. Our license recognition bill combined with the microphone of Freedom Works Here is a powerful tandem to fill these much-needed jobs.


That is a story that many people across this country have never heard before.


Folks are moving here in record numbers to become a part of our winning way of life. Californians and New Yorkers have never seen a state like ours – one that trusts our people, and one that embraces and promotes liberty and Freedom.


Freedom Works Here is indisputably the most impactful workforce campaign in South Dakota’s history.