Back in May, Brad Johnson reported that a secret cabal was working on “Freedom’s Haven for New Americans Workforce“, a project to bring more immigrants to South Dakota to save our dwindling workforce. Evidently the cabal is ready to step out and own its plan to build the workforce that South Dakota cannot build on its own:
Spearheaded by Lake Area Technical College President Mike Cartney and others from Sioux Falls and Rapid City, the aim is to bring 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian refugees to the state.
…Called the Freedom’s Haven for New Americans’ Workforce, the plan started taking shape on July 7 during a six-hour meeting in Nemo. More than 30 attendees — representing the congressional delegation, Gov. Kristi Noem’s office, business leaders, communities, support agencies, sponsors, employers, clergy and Ukrainians — helped create a plan.
That plan was unveiled at the end of August when another meeting of about 35 people was held at Lake Area in Watertown.
…“Today we have 30,000 jobs open in South Dakota. We have about 700 people on unemployment. That leaves a bit of a gap,” he said.
Cartney added that “we have probably 45 of the larger employers in South Dakota that are standing up to support this effort” [Brad Johnson, “Plan Emerges to Attract Ukrainians to South Dakota; Refugees Could Help Businesses,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.09.06].
Breitbart is already slamming the plan as an effort to “replace” Americans with “eager, compliant, hard-working migrants.” Funny that Breitbart would complain about “compliance”; funny that anyone would complain about “eager”, “hard-working”, and most importantly, actual workers. As Sioux Falls trust manager Michael Klatt explains, the Ukrainians and other immigrants aren’t replacing anybody: they are filling holes created by the retired and the dead:
“Aging states like Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin – they all have large aging populations, and unless we are willing to change our views about workforce, we are going to see our companies struggle,” he said.
“So, our role here is to try and help employers be successful and growing and helping our culture continue to grow and have a vibrant state,” Klatt said [Johnson, 2022.09.06].
South Dakota voters can do their part to support Freedom’s Haven for New Americans Workforce. Johnson reports that one of the barriers to bringing Ukrainian refugees to South Dakota is the lack of affordable healthcare. Other states that have expanded Medicaid don’t have that problem. So if South Dakotans will just turn out this November and approve Amendment D, we can expand Medicaid and remove that obstacle to building our workforce.
Johnson reports that part of the plan involves “insulating” our Republican Congressional delegation just such powerful if nonsensical attacks from Breitbart and others “who fear immigrants and go to great lengths to demonize anyone who supports making immigration easier.” But how much more insulation do our Congress critters need than the endorsement of this plan by the South Dakota Community Foundation, which has set up a fund to support Freedom’s Haven for New Americans Workforce and is made up of a who’s who of South Dakota’s rich and powerful? And what insulation do rich, powerful Republicans really need in a safe Republican state from a plan that will fill jobs, boost the economy, and make them look good?
The Goss Opera House is holding a piano concert to raise money for this refugee relocation project on September 22. Tickets are just $30 a pop.