News, notes, ideas and comments from the staff at Employment Edge.
Build Dakota will fund tech school scholarships
[December 18, 2014] A new scholarship program, Build Dakota, will provide full-ride scholarships at South Dakota's four technical schools. Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced the $50 million program on December 18 at Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls.
Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $25 million to Build Dakota; the state of South Dakota will match the amount.
With statewide unemployment at 2.8 percent -- the second lowest in the nation -- finding qualified workers is a significant challenge for South Dakota businesses. Build Dakota will address that issue by awarding scholarships in occupational fields identified by a governor-appointed board. The board will review the list of degrees annually. Scholarship recipients are required to work in the state for three years after graduation or repay the scholarship.
Some 300 scholarships will be awarded annually in the first five years of the program. Funds will cover tuition, fees, books, and any other required program expenses.
Build Dakota is scheduled to start with the fall 2015 semester. Applications will likely be due sometime in April 2015. Students do not have to be South Dakota residents at the time of application.
[June 17, 2014] Gov. Dennis Daugaard will host a Workforce Summit at the Sioux Falls Convention Center 1101 N. West Ave., Sioux Falls. The Summit will engage state, community, business and education leaders about South Dakota’s workforce challenges and opportunities through panel discussions and breakout groups. It will provide a forum to discuss current programs, learn about workforce demographic trends and offer feedback on potential future strategies.
Honesty is the best [employer] policy
[June 11, 2014] A recent study by Randstad US says that most workers (78 percent) look for an employer that is — first and foremost — honest. Also important to job hunters is finding an employer that is reliable (71 percent), secure (62 percent) and well-respected (51 percent). Among the least important factors to potential employees? Use of the latest technologies at just nine percent.
[February 25, 2014] OSHA has published a list of the 10 workplace standards most often cited during an inspection. OSHA hopes to increase awareness so that employers can find and fix recognized hazards.
Top on the list of citations? Fall protection.
To prevent injuries employers need to be sure that walking/working surfaces have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. The standard also addresses the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, and protection from falling objects.
To see OSHA’s complete list of frequently cited violations, click here.
Employment Edge is committed to reducing preventable workplace injuries.
"TechEd Works for Me"
[February 19, 2014] Southeast Technical Institute has launched a campaign to tell people about the opportunities that exist in technical education and careers. Forward Sioux Falls is a partner in the campaign. Forward Sioux Falls with matching funds from area businesses and industries have provided more than $60,000 for the project.
The marketing campaign will run for at last three years.
Southeast reports that 96% of their students find employment within six months of graduation.
The hottest job skill is ...
[November 1, 2013] Annalyn Kurtz, reporting for CNNMoney, says the most sought-after job skill these days is fluency in a foreign language. Roughly 25,000 jobs are expected to open up for interpreters and translators between 2010 and 2020.
One week alone, roughly 12,000 jobs posted on Indeed.com included the word "bilingual." Nationwide, workers in this field earn a median salary of $43,000 a year.
Sioux Falls is one of the 10 happiest cities in the nation
[September 4, 2013] Prevention magazine has named Sioux Falls one of the 10 happiest, healthiest cities in the nation.
According to their research, "When it comes to finding the pure essence of happiness, Sioux Falls must be on to something. While it didn't score particularly well in some of our key measures related to fitness and nutrition, its plain old "I feel great" esprit comes through loud and clear."
[August 30, 2013] About four in 10 businesses will require at least some employees to report for work on Labor Day. According to a holiday best practices survey conducted by Bloomberg BNA, 39 percent of surveyed employers will maintain operations on the Monday holiday.
Larger employers (those with 1,000 employees or more) were more likely to conduct business on Labor Day than smaller employers.
Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 and is one of 10 official federal holidays.
Forbes ranks Sioux Falls Number One
[August 8, 2013] Forbes magazine has named Sioux Falls the top small city in the nation for business and careers. The survey considered 12 different metrics in assigning rank to smaller metro areas in the country. Sioux Falls ranked second in cost of doing business, 14th in job growth, and number one overall.
This is the second year in a row that Sioux Falls has enjoyed the top spot. Forbes concludes “Head for the Heartland, especially Iowa and the Dakotas.”
Where will the jobs be?
[July 24, 2013] Deciding on a career field? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the greatest number of openings nationwide between now and 2020 will be found in the fields of personal care, home health aide, medical secretary, medical assistant, and software developer.
In South Dakota, the greatest number of openings will be found for people seeking careers as registered nurses, construction laborers, personal care aides, medical assistants, and compliance officers.
Finding the right person for the right position
[July 3, 2013]A low unemployment rate is a strong plus for Sioux Falls' economy but creates a challenge for companies looking to fill openings. Employment Edge co-owner Kent Alberty visited with KELO news for their segment on "Lots of jobs, but not enough workers."
"The challenge is to find the right person for the company that's looking for a good employee. At 3.5 percent unemployment, there are still good employees out there. But being able to find the right person to fill the right position becomes the challenge for us as a staffing company," he said.
Technical schools and comprehensive immigration reform are two factors that can bolster the workforce.
Volunteering increases your chances of finding a job
[July 1, 2013] According to a recent study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers have 27 percent better odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers.
In addition, volunteers without a high school diploma increase their odds of finding a job by 51 percent just by volunteering.
Why? Volunteering increases a person’s social connections and skill sets.
So, if your job search has stalled, try doing some volunteer work while you continue looking for employment. In Sioux Falls, visit the Helpline Center for a list of volunteer positions. helpline.force.com/
[June 20, 2013] Watch for our logo July 9 at the Sioux Empire Spectacular. Local volunteers will be wearing event t-shirts purchased by Employment Edge and Party Land of Sioux Falls.
We are happy to support Roosevelt and Washington High Schools as they bring the Drum Corps International marching event to Howard Wood Field. The competition starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.