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Millions of Marketing Dollars Later, Workforce Shortage Persists

For all the millions in tax dollars we’ve spent to put Governor Kristi Noem’s costumed charm on national TV to boost her VP candidacy recruit workers, South Dakota’s workforce shortage appears to continue unabated. So suggested members of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors at their meeting yesterday:

Adviser Doug Sharp of Watertown, who runs a car dealership, said the regional economy is strong, but finding people to work is a problem.

“We’ve got a lot of job openings,” he said.

Dan Newell, president of McGowan Capital Group in Sioux Falls, said the state’s biggest city keeps growing, but “it’s slowing down a bit.” He said Sioux Falls’ biggest problem is the same as Watertown’s.

“Even finding bodies is hard,” he said, let alone people with qualifications. “Trying to keep our talent in the state, rather than going elsewhere, is the continual challenge we’ll all have.”

To help with that problem, “We ought to be looking a little more at legal immigration, and I’ll just leave it at that,” said Joel Rosenthal, manager at Central Plains Tractor Parts in Sioux Falls [Joshua Haiar, “Governor’s Economic Advisers Caution Against Optimism in 2024,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.10.25].

Noem has claimed her “Freedom Works Here” ads have gotten thousands of people to apply to move here. Are they just coming for Freedom and forgetting the Work part of the slogan? Are they getting here and finding they can’t afford to work because they can’t find affordable child care? Why are Sharp and Newell and pretty much every other employer finding it easier to fill their openings thanks to the Governor’s big investment in marketing herself the great state of South Dakota as a dreamy workplace?


  1. Tim 2023-10-26 06:59

    I wonder how many kids here could’ve been fed with that money?

  2. Nick Nemec 2023-10-26 08:12

    Most of the people moving here because of Noem’s recruitment ads are retired old farts who not going to backfill the need for workers, they will help drive up house prices and contribute to the housing shortage. Our country needs a more open immigration policy. Millions of people want an opportunity to make a life in America but are held back by politicians like Noem who don’t want immigration but are quick to point fingers and jump on the America First bandwagon. At least Mr. Joel Rosenthal has the courage to open the immigration door a crack, more business leaders need to do the same.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-10-26 08:46

    Move To South Dakota ~ It’s Not The Snow, It’s The Wind

  4. e platypus onion 2023-10-26 09:26

    It is the magat beans that work up a blow in embarassingly red states.

  5. Eve Fisher 2023-10-26 09:35

    The word on the street is that a lot of the newcomers to Madison are MAGA and unemployed by choice.

  6. Bob Newland 2023-10-26 10:11

    In South Dakota, we’re breakin’ the wind.

  7. sx123 2023-10-26 10:23

    Starting today, we are about to witness one of the main reasons South Dakota and North Dakota don’t have the population growth like the southern states. Minnesota at least has some trees to blunt the effects…

  8. P. Aitch 2023-10-26 10:53

    Hey, tech youth – The White House is preparing to launch a website aimed at recruiting workers with artificial intelligence skills, a source familiar with the matter told Axios.
    The goal of the site is to address bipartisan concern about a shortage of workers to research and help develop AI.
    Among other tools, the website will offer a portal to submit a resume to apply to all AI-related jobs in government.

  9. larry kurtz 2023-10-26 13:08

    What Nick said. If people are even attending the Sturgis Rally in fewer numbers that’s a good indicator that the bloom went off the rose some time ago. Good, South Dakota can have all the MAGAts it can bury.

  10. John 2023-10-26 15:55

    Hahaha, the obvious answer to labor shortages is to P A Y them. Paying them worked in the North Dakota oil fields.
    Congress is not going to fix legal immigration because there is much money to made on faux hate and fear.
    I was in a Bismarck motel for a day in August. It was hard to believe, based on the ethnicity of the stayers, that the motel was in Bismarck, or even in the US.

    Meanwhile, the MAGRATs have self-proclaimed immigration experts like Butte County Sheriff Lamphere who ‘once visited the border’ parading around riling up prejudices and scaring old boomers about the brown skinned immigrants. Meanwhile, next door the Spearfish Police Department runs on 2/3 of their authorized force BECAUSE THEY CAN”T FIND EMPLOYEES.

  11. leslie 2023-10-26 19:29

    Republican grifters!! And our governor has delusions of grandure as a Trump VP! Omg!!

    September 18, Kristi’s “Freedom Works Here” website claimed that 6,501 people have applied to move to South Dakota through the program and that 1,402 were in the final stages of moving to the state, which has an unemployment rate of 1.9% and about 20,000 open jobs. Economic development groups from the state’s two largest cities, Sioux Falls and Rapid City, PLEDGED the $10,000, which will be matched by GOED. [is that like deploying Guards on the border on someone else’s, and eventually the taxpayers, dime, as Republican grifting?]

    But they are still waiting to receive the names and contact information.

    “We desperately want to know who these people are,” said Tom Johnson, president and CEO of Elevate Rapid City. “If there are that many people who want to move to South Dakota, we’re convinced that a good chunk of them would enjoy the quality of life in the Black Hills….” [incidentally was Johnson the Safeway city alderman? Now he’s Elevate Rapid City. hmmm. Another grifter Republican?]

    How did we get such a sick Republican Party?

    Here is a recent glaring public example from Trump’s NYC fraud trial:

    Trump lawyer Alina Habba asked the judge to have his clerk refrain from “eye rolls and constant whispering.”

    “It is incredibly distracting when there are eye rolls and constant whispering at the bench when I’m cross examining,” Habba said. Engoron said, “Okay, granted.”

    His clerk, Allison Greenfield, did not show any visible reaction to the request

    Trump posted on Truth Social attacking Engoron’s clerk. The post claimed she was a “girlfriend” to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, showing a picture of the two of them together.

    The post was removed from Truth Social right after the gag order was issued, but it was not erased from Trump’s campaign website,”

    His lawyer apologized: “It’s part of the process that is built into the campaign structure as I understand it. That all of this, in Truth posts, are wrapped up and sent out.” Kise said.

    The judge said:

    “I will take this under advisement. I want to make clear that Donald Trump is still responsible for the large machine, even if it is a large machine.”

    He added: “In the current overheated climate incendiary untruths can and in some cases already has lead to serious physical harm and worse.”

    In his order Friday, the judge repeated his warning in no uncertain terms: “Make no mistake: future violations, whether intentional or unintentional, will subject the violator to far more severe sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, steeper finanical penalties, holding Donald Trump in contempt of court, and possibly imprisoning him.”

    That was last week.

    During a break in the trial just this Wedsday, where Trump attended as his former attorney testified as to Trump’s mob boss-like fraud, Trump told reporters outside the courtroom, “This judge is a very partisan judge with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside him — perhaps even much more partisan than he is.”

    When the court session resumed, Engoron said that Trump’s comments had been brought to his attention and said that he had put the gag order in place following Trump’s posting “defamatory, disparaging, completely untrue statements about the law clerk sitting to my right.”

    “I am very protective of my staff as I believe I should be,” Engoron said, noting it was an “overheated environment.”

    “I don’t want anyone killed,” he said.

    Engoron held a surprise hearing over comments Trump made outside the courtroom earlier Wednesday that could have been referring to a court clerk and therefore violating a gag order.

    “I’m going to hold a hearing right now about that,” the judge said.

    Engoron asked Trump who he was referring to when he talked about the “partisan person” next to the judge.

    “You and Cohen,” Trump responded, referring to his former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who has been testifying Wednesday.

    “Are you sure you didn’t meant the person on the other side?” Engoron asked, referring to his clerk.

    “Yes I’m sure,” Trump responded.


    “As the trier of fact, I find that the witness is not credible,” Judge Arthur Engoron said after hearing from the former president under oath. “I hereby fine you $10,000 — which is on the liberal side — to be paid within 30 days,” the judge ruled.

    This example illustrates “incendiary untruths” when an incompetent elected official (shielded by an irresponsible political party) violates his/her oath, duties and interests contrary the people’s welfare with fraudulent intent, which is what Trump does routinely and Noem has done and aspires to do in SD and no doubt on a national scale.

    He and she are costing taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars of damage to the nation and the state.

    In Maine more than 30 people in a bowling ally and bar were shot and killed or injured yesterday in the latest assault rifle abuse resulting in mass killing, because of 2d amend obstruction of reasonable firearm regulation by Republicans/Putin/Trump/Noem/Rounds and Thune.

    Millions if not billions of dollars of damage, death, injury, terrorizing mental health and lost productivity, and even war, for a democratic nation of 360,000,000 people to have to clean up!

    These last seven years will, if nothing more, serve to severely test most aspects of our founding constitution’s interpretation and relevance to modern, and hopefully longer lasting, society.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2023-10-26 23:24

    Leslie: Tell the Mayor of Rapid City there are no names, there is no contact information. The program is a bogus campaign/PR effort to raise funds and elevate Governor Noem as a serious national candidate. It has nothing to do with South Dakota. Who’s running this campaign? Probably a slick haired nimrod from Florida.

  13. All Mammal 2023-10-27 00:45

    Yeesh.. the pen-, as well as, antepenultimate comments are sickeningly accurate. Thanks, you two, for that sour wetburp. You speak the truth, and it makes the mind and body of Americans want to reject it. We can spit it out still. We need to be loud.

    Thoughts and love to everyone up in Maine. Hope no more people get murdered. Makes you grateful for the FBI n em for finding and nabbing gun-bunning bad guys. Be cautious out there

  14. ABC 2023-10-27 23:44

    Wants legal immigration? Why not pay workers that live here MORE!

    Capitalism is duhh-Ville, here listen in—-

    “Ya know, our economy is booming so much, capital is great, but no one wants to work! We’ll have to put a headlock on Congress and git um to send us some legal immigrants…we need workers, but we ain’t smart enough to pay ‘‘em higher wages…”

    Pay low wages? Not attractive for someone who wants to support him or herself and their families.

    Pay high wages? Only us Leftys pay that!

  15. ABC 2023-10-27 23:52

    2nd Amendment folks are obstructionists.

    Are they willing to pay for the funerals of the 18 people murdered in Maine?

    Are they willing to pay for the medical care for the dozens who were killed by that guy?

    They want to keep their “AR 15” toys legal, so people who have lost their minds can kill people and children!

    Gun lickers, listen up! Fear is a cavity in your heart. Own 200 guns? Us lefties will pray that no one breaks into your house and shoots you, accidentally or on purpose. Better yet, we will pass laws banning some of these obvious killing machines, and someday, we will modify or abolish the 2nd Amendment.

    Innocent people killed? Yes. Bullets killed them.

  16. ABC 2023-10-27 23:53

    The dozens who were injured by that guy.

  17. Sam Quentin 2023-11-05 03:55

    South Dakota has been recognized as one of the Top 3 states for Brain Drain.
    Guess what happens when you let the best & brightest go, and retain the worst & dimmest?

    That Brain Drain has exponentially compounding problems.
    Those with true skill, knowledge, and competence that come from out-of-state are faced with the major obstacle of impedance by the incompetent and wide-spread mediocrity, i.e. those whom fear that genuine talent. Those mediocre become intimidated by that heightened skill of truly competent workers, and often force that talent elsewhere, via sheer idiocy, harassment, etc.

    Why the ongoing Brain Drain? Because you can’t fight stupid.
    Imagine a Doctor, or Lawyer, or Ph.D. or such trying to explain full-comprehension of their profession to a young child.
    So goes trying to explain competence to the wholly-incompetent.

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