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GOED Spending Workforce Recruitment Money on Ads

South Dakota is short of workers. The Legislature gave the Governor’s Office of Economic Development a million dollars to recruit workers. But evidently GOED spent less than a third of that money to recruit workers and is now diverting the rest of that cash to advertising:

Turns out the Governor’s Office of Economic Development spent only about one-third of the $1 million that state lawmakers provided two years ago for recruiting people to move South Dakota for jobs that employers found hard to fill.

GOED is now using the $681,587.87 that remained for other marketing instead. That’s in addition to the extra $1 million that GOED received from the Legislature last year and the extra $1 million it’s getting again for the budget that starts July 1.

Republican Rep. Chris Karr asked why the carryover wasn’t reverted. State government agencies normally turn over any money that isn’t obligated under a contract when the state fiscal year ends June 30, with the money flowing into a state reserve account that the Legislature can tap in case it’s needed later.

Travis Dovre, who serves as GOED’s fiscal officer, said the carryover is being used as part of $1.6 million for marketing in the current 2023 budget. He said the office is trying to make “a big splash” to take advantage of South Dakota being on people’s minds and “keep South Dakota’s message front and center.”

Responded Karr: “It just seems like we’re growing a slushy fund here” [Bob Mercer, “GOED Used Just One-Third of Money Meant for Recruiting,” KELO-TV, 2023.05.03].

The conservative in me wants to say that maybe the Legislature should cut all of GOED’s funding and revert those tax dollars back to the taxpayers, the employers among whom would then have more money to pay workers higher wages that would do a better job of recruiting and retaining talent than anything GOED has half-heartedly done for its cronies and advertising consultants.


  1. Donald Pay 2023-05-04 09:02

    Want to recruit workers? Abolish GOED and use that money to provide bonuses to anyone who takes a job and stays employed for over a year.

    GOED never should have been created. GOED-like centrealized agencies were a 1980s fad in state governments. They made weak Governors pretend they were CEOs. The last I heard the 1980s are over, but in South Dakota the 1980s lives on, and on, and on. These agencies served more as slush funds than generators of economic development. Bad arena rock songs (link below) lives on and on,and on, too, on U-Tube. You don’t have to listen to it. Get over the 1980s. Abolish GOED.

  2. O 2023-05-04 09:37

    Donald, therein lies the rub, paying a bonus is usually a recognition that the pay (or working conditions) are deficient in a substantial way — that deficiency will exist after the bonus check or incentive terminates. Then people find themselves “tricked” into a bad long-term circumstance because of short-term gains.

    Workers are telling employers what they need; employers refuse to listen. When it comes to our Conservative, MAGA, GOP friends, ONLY those deaf employers have a voice in government.

  3. O 2023-05-04 09:39

    I would suggest that these GOED funds be put toward affordable housing — a need identified by many — but SD cannot even get money allocated for affordable housing to affordable housing construction.

  4. buckobear 2023-05-04 10:06

    “Jobs, we’re on it.”

  5. P. Aitch 2023-05-04 10:13

    Cory. That’s not your conservative talking. That’s your pragmatic liberal talking. We liberals give more money back to our citizens in our liberal states that any conservative has ever given back. (e.g. I got a sweet check for $750 last year because Colorado collected more sales tax than they budgeted for.)
    I know. You live where liberals are admonished and denounced continually so it’s only rational that you would absorb some of the propaganda doled out against us. Again, no worries. I’m happy to point out to your audience the fine work we libs do and the fine things we libs propose and promote. Eventually it’ll soak in. Look at how much more centered grudz is than he was five years ago.

  6. O 2023-05-04 10:23

    Unemployment: we’re on it?

  7. Marie 2023-05-04 13:43

    One wonders which South Dakota workforce “opportunity indicators” the GOED will be touting to lure workers here—low wages, unemployment benefits, and union participation, a regressive tax system, a shortage of affordable worker housing, low education funding, higher medical uninsured rates, excessive incarceration, ongoing marijuana criminalization, unsafe gun laws, an abortion ban? These are unlikely to change with a Republican super majority legislature and governor.

    For workers, the long-term consequences of living and working in a red state like South Dakota versus a nearby blue state like Minnesota investing in a more robust social safety net seems to grow each year. It does matter where you live.

  8. John 2023-05-04 16:08

    South Dakota has no legislative oversight of the executive branch. It best, South Dakota has 2 branches of government.

  9. grudznick 2023-05-04 19:48

    Mr. H has a good idea here. If we could do away with this Goed business, we would stop brining more Wokeness into South Dakota. We would have more tax dollars in our pockets. And businesses would have to work harder the old fashioned way to get more money and grow bigger.

    Work harder, businesses. No more handouts for you.

  10. larry kurtz 2023-05-04 20:38

    Yeah. De do do do, de da da da like grud sez.

  11. scott 2023-05-04 21:41

    If people who were born and raised in SD do not want to stay in SD, how can you expect people from other places to move here and stay here? SD needs to look at what is causing people to leave and change. As far as I’m concerned, the only one benefitting from this are the ad agencies and the media companies where the ads are purchased.

  12. Mark Anderson 2023-05-04 21:54

    Why don’t they recruit short workers?

  13. larry kurtz 2023-05-05 11:39

    My error: first per 100,000 in the workforce, rather.

  14. Richard Schriever 2023-05-06 08:04

    Apparently, for grudz, “wokeness” = awareness of wage slavery.

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