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Help Wanted? Try These Resources





It’s the holiday season 2021 and—just about everywhere you look—businesses are hiring. “Help  Wanted” signs dot store windows in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and all points in-between. For the past two months, the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation has posted between 20,000 and 31,000 active jobs on their (DLR) website. That’s good news for our state as unemployment numbers remain well below the national average.

 

Communities and families directly benefit from the high employment rates; however, the increase in the number of job openings puts a strain on businesses that need more help. Many South Dakotans see this at restaurants trying to operate while shorthanded, but the problem affects many other sectors of the economy, too. Health care jobs make up about 20% of all available positions in the state, and many retail and manufacturing posts remain open and unfilled. 

 

Now is the perfect time for South Dakota employers to get creative to fill those openings. By knocking on the doors of state agencies, service-based non-profit organizations, and our universities, employers can provide opportunities for new careers for fellow South Dakotans looking for their own unique way to make their way in the world. 

 

South Dakota’s Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) offers an incredible job resource website called South Dakota Works that can help employers with staff needs. There, employers can find candidates for jobs and find the resumes of job seekers. DLR provides and facilitates support, education and training to strengthen businesses in South Dakota. It makes a coordinated effort to partner with non-profit, business and educational organizations to provide the tools and resources necessary for sustainable employment and economic self-sufficiency for the citizens of South Dakota. For employers in need of new employees, DLR can make the connections to fill those openings.

 

But the government cannot solve this problem on its own. The private sector must step up, and in fact here in South Dakota the private sector does step up. Charities like The Salvation Army of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Western Iowa help individuals close the gap between joblessness and gainful employment by providing career training, skills assessment, and referrals for and assistance with job placement. Employers in need of workers can turn to the Salvation Army, with offices all over the state, to fill those needs. In doing so they will not just provide a job—they will transform lives.

 

The state government can help, private charities can help, and our public and private universities can help, too. Universities around the state are developing top-tier entrepreneurial talent through business incubators. Some of these programs connect college students with small businesses to provide general marketing services and business plan development that benefits the students and the businesses. Growing  companies can get help from the next generation of talented leaders. For these students, they graduate college with an impressive portfolio of experience and work-product while businesses benefit from the students’ services.

 

There are many places for businesses to turn to find the talent they are looking for. By reaching out in new and unexpected ways to fill open jobs, employers and businesses can turn “help wanted” into help found. And in doing so, those businesses will transform lives.

 

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