South Dakota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Although this is a sign of a strong economy, it creates a challenge for businesses.
The Daugaard Administration has been engaged in workforce efforts over the last several years. During his first term, Governor Daugaard launched South Dakota WINS, a workforce development program that brings together government, education, and business leaders to capitalize on South Dakota's potential. He also held workforce summits across the state to gain input from stakeholders and find solutions.
Workforce efforts have continued into the Governor’s second term, because, as Daugaard says, “Workforce is a marathon, not a sprint.”
In June, he was among several governors who attended a White House roundtable discussion about workforce development. Now, as head of the Western Governors’ Association, Governor Daugaard is continuing the workforce conversation by choosing the topic as his initiative during his year-long tenure as chair.
Gov. Daugaard’s initiative is designed to identify skills that are in high demand, create more career training opportunities for students, connect regional employers with prospective workers and develop strategies for rural communities.
The Governor kicked off his WGA initiative in August with a regional workshop in Sioux Falls, which U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta attended. WGA also has workforce workshops scheduled in Denver, Oklahoma City, and Seattle for later this year.