Shannon Marvel has a new (paywalled) article online for the Aberdeen American News (sure to hit Friday’s print edition) about the staff shortage at the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield. The facility takes care of folks with intellectual and physical disabilities more severe than other facilities in the state can handle. Marvel writes that the difficulty and danger of jobs there, plus the isolation of the area, make it hard to get workers to come and stay in Redfield. Right now, the Developmental Center is short forty-some workers:
According to the state Department of Labor website, the number of Spink County residents in the workforce in 2015 increased from 3,250 in January to 3,305 in November with a 1.9 percent decrease in the unemployment rate.
More people are taking jobs in Redfield, just not at the developmental center where employee numbers have dropped from 385.6 on staff in 2014 to a maximum of 339.6 in December 2015 [Shannon Marvel, “Developmental Center in Redfield Fights Perpetual Staff Shortage,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.01.07].
The state may be looking at cutting its needs for staff in Redfield by cutting its space for patients. House Bill 1015, requested by the Department of Human Services, seeks $1,808,000 to “dismantle and demolish buildings, collapse and fill tunnels, dispose of debris, repair campus infrastructure, and reclaim grounds on the South Dakota Developmental Center campus” if the department determines that repair and renovation of the buildings is too expensive.