Governor Kristi Noem is encouraging South Dakota businesses to register for the state’s first Week of Work in April of 2020. The week is a chance for high schoolers to experience local job opportunities through job shadowing and industry tours.
Governor Noem introduced the South Dakota Week of Work in her first State of the State address in January to combine workforce development with practical education. Now, the state is launching a website for the program: weekofwork.sd.gov. Businesses across South Dakota can register to welcome students and foster interest in local job opportunities in the spring. There’s also information for parents and schools.
The program is designed for high school sophomores. Governor Noem says that’s the age when students are just beginning to consider their options after high school—from college to entering the workforce.
“We want to open up their eyes to all the opportunities they have in their community, so they can really capitalize on their decision on what to do with their career,” she explains.
During the announcement at Malloy Electric in Sioux Falls, Governor Noem says businesses are struggling to fill skilled positions. She says in July there were 17,300 job openings in South Dakota with just 12,800 unemployed individuals.
“Most of the businesses in our state have a difficult time filling jobs," she says. "So if they can instill a passion and a desire in a student that may be interested in filling that job someday, that starts a relationship that doesn’t currently exist in South Dakota. So that’s really my goal.”
On top of showing students local job options, Governor Noem hopes businesses will invest in students so they stay in South Dakota.
The first Week of Work is scheduled for April 20th-24th.
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