South Dakota workforce

An educator works with students at Cleveland Elementary School. (Courtesy of Sioux Falls School District)

SD teachers make less than they did in 2017, when factoring in inflation

BY: - November 30, 2023

The average South Dakota teacher salary has increased by just over $6,000 in the last six years, according to a recent state Department of Education report. That’s enough to meet requirements set forth by the 2016 Legislature, which aimed to increase teacher salaries to competitive rates by increasing the state’s sales tax by half a […]

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Noem invites California-based gun manufacturers to SD to escape new taxes

BY: - September 28, 2023

Gov. Kristi Noem is inviting California-based gun manufacturers to move their operations to South Dakota in response to California’s new tax on guns and ammunition. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed nearly two dozen gun control measures into law on Tuesday, including a ban on carrying firearms in most public places and an 11% state tax […]

Participants in a Red Cloud Renewable solar energy training course. (Courtesy of Red Cloud Renewable)

Pine Ridge nonprofit awarded $1.5M grant to train Indigenous women for solar energy jobs

BY: - June 28, 2023

Pine Ridge-based solar energy nonprofit Red Cloud Renewable was awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to increase the number of Native American women working in the solar industry. The grant is part of the Biden Administration’s “Investing in America” agenda aimed at achieving a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035 while boosting economic growth across […]

Tina Lugo, left, shakes hands with Kendra Ringstmeyer of the Department of Labor during a graduation ceremony for Department of Corrections precision machining graduates on May 8, 2023. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Prison-based training program bolsters South Dakota workforce

BY: - May 11, 2023

There are nearly 3,500 people in the custody of South Dakota’s prisons. Most of them will walk free.  In the space of a year and a half, the state has trained and certified 57 of them in precision machining, welding and construction technology – three high-demand fields in South Dakota. The latest group of graduates, […]

Gov. Kristi Noem talks about apprenticeship programs on April 25, 2023, at Howe Inc. in Sioux Falls. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Noem touts $7.9 million investment in apprenticeships as part of workforce shortage solution

BY: - April 25, 2023

SIOUX FALLS — Employers willing to build or expand apprenticeship programs in South Dakota will soon have a shot at a larger pool of state funding. During a stop Tuesday at Howe Inc., Gov. Kristi Noem announced the addition of $7.9 million in apprenticeship grants to be distributed over three years through the Start Today […]

Houses under construction. (Getty Images)

$200 million in housing infrastructure funding likely to lie dormant for a second year

BY: - April 20, 2023

A $200 million pool of housing infrastructure funding will likely go unspent for another construction season, despite efforts by lawmakers to push the money out in 2023. The interim director of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority broke that news to the Legislature’s Executive Board Thursday during its first meeting since the end of the […]

Houses in a new development on Oct. 28, 2022, in Harrisburg. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Housing money fix could clear Senate in week one

BY: - January 10, 2023

State lawmakers aim to quickly pass a bill to clear a thicket of confusion over how to get $200 million in housing infrastructure money out of state coffers and into the hands of developers. The money, initially appropriated last session, was meant to help address a 10,000-home shortage in workforce housing. But concerns over the […]

Employees and their children pose for a photo in front of a Pioneer Bank & Trust branch. The company offers each of its employees $5,000 to pay for licensed child care. (Courtesy of Pioneer Bank & Trust)

How South Dakotans are making child care affordable and available

BY: - December 14, 2022

South Dakota has a tight labor market. It’s even tighter as parents struggle to find available and affordable child care. To bolster recruitment and retention among parents, some employers and organizations are taking matters into their own hands. One major employer in Rapid City has a day care center in-house, and a contract with a […]

In this aerial view, a destroyed apartment building is seen next to an area of heavily damaged houses on April 21, 2022, in Borodianka, Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Refugees, immigrants to South Dakota need our compassion

BY: - November 17, 2022

During the past two months, I have emceed three benefit concerts to raise awareness of a statewide effort to bring 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian war refugees to our state. The concerts in Watertown, Rapid City and Sioux Falls raised about $50,000 to support a fund that will help defray expenses for those who sponsor refugees. […]