One only needs to drive along the main streets and avenues in Sioux Falls to see all of the “Help Wanted” signs to know we have a significant workforce challenge facing us. And in discussions I’ve had with numerous business leaders, nonprofits and government officials, this need becomes much more clearly defined.
Whether we’re looking at manufacturing and other skilled trades, or openings in retail and nonprofit organizations, employers are faced with real challenges in their workforce. From companies that want to expand or merely fill current openings to potential organizations that are contemplating moving to Sioux Falls, the situation remains the same—we need more trained, educated workers for our city.
This past September I assumed the new Workforce Development position and have made a concerted effort to visit with leaders in education, government, nonprofits and local businesses. I have listened to educators about new internships, apprenticeships and other training programs that have been created today because of collaboration efforts established with local employers. And I have heard over and over success stories from businesses who participate in career-based training and continuous learning opportunities for their employees where these companies are growing their talent from within. But more still needs to be done.
Currently, I am working with the Chamber of Commerce IT department to develop a new online Talent Portal. Much more will be coming on this after the first of the year, but the goal will be a “one-stop shop” presenting Sioux Falls in a holistic manner. The website will highlight our city’s excellent healthcare and educational facilities, showcase our parks and recreational facilities and elaborate on careers and entrepreneurial opportunities in the area. We will incorporate testimonials from real people living in the city telling their stories and experiences. Many other initiatives will be brought forth over the coming months, including a closer look at how we can identify and work more closely with targeted populations and the positive contributions they can make to the workforce.
We all know there are significant challenges before us that need to be addressed. But if everyone works in a collaborative manner, we will make significant strides in addressing workforce development needs. And we will continue to be proud of Sioux Falls and all of the tremendous opportunities it offers to our employees and our residents!
There is better training for our workforce in Sioux Falls. A multitude of options are available to meet businesses' needs at the postsecondary level including city programs, state grants, technical training, and a new $50 million scholarship program for technical school students.Read More