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Developmental Center Facing Staff Shortages

The South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield is struggling with staff shortages. The state funded facility provides 24 hour care for developmentally disabled teens and adults.

On Monday the Government Operations and Audit Committee toured the center and heard from staff members. Senator Larry Tidemann says creating competitive pay is needed to help retain employees.

“I do not see that the sky is falling," says Tidemann. "We just want to make sure what we do, we do right. I agree with you, the community support providers have a starting salary that is way too low. It’s something that I think we’re going to be looking at with the Medicaid summer study. It’s something that needs to be addressed because if you can hire them at McDonalds for $11 dollars an hour, and we hire them at $8.50, there’s a big difference in what we expect them to do." 

The committee also heard concerns about management issues between administrators and employees. Tidemann says the Bureau of Human Resources is examining the complaints.

The Developmental Center currently serves 132 people on-site at the facility.