Workforce Development and Talent Attraction


Fulfill area businesses skilled workforce needs by ensuring the Rapid City region is highly regarded as a desirable destination for talent.

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Objective 1

Improve The Workforce Skills Of The Current And Emerging Workforce

  • Work with partners to develop a well-trained, world-class workforce, including creating a seamless, STEM-based pipeline of work-ready students utilizing our K-12 schools, SDSM&T, Black Hills State University, National American University, and Western Dakota Tech, including the support of innovative models such as Magnet Schools, STEAM and STEAM2, and Pathways to Apprenticeships.
  • Develop surveys and other instruments to provide insights into potential and perceived issues affecting our workforces, such as an Education Skills Gap Analysis, Labor Force Analysis, and Workforce Housing Analysis.

Objective 2

Create A Dedicated Talent Attraction And Retention Program

  • Focus on a talent attraction program encompassing paid internships, scholarships, and apprenticeships, emphasizing the region’s outdoor livability narrative.
  • Create a marketing strategy that focuses on actions, activities, and tools that communicate with talent in targeted regional and national markets.
  • Connect local students to the regional economy.
  • Host networking and social events for regional college students.
  • Connect regional students with regional job opportunities.
  • Enhance the Military Outreach Program.
  • Support and attend all military job fairs in the four-state region.
  • Provide better connectivity to all available job openings, from area companies to individuals and families transitioning from military to civilian work life, as well as spouses of officers and enlisted personnel.
  • Create a Black Hills jobs portal with a focus on those with roots in the Black Hills.

Objective 3

Provide The Unemployed And Under-Employed The Basic Workforce Skills And Soft Skills Necessary To Become Gainfully Employed

  • Utilizing area educational institutions, partner with other agencies to elevate the lives of those they serve by providing basic workforce skills and soft skills training.
  • Work with area employers to accept ready-to-work certificates earned by those completing various skills-based training programs.
  • Mitigate issues preventing employment, e.g., transportation and childcare, with appropriate services and alternate options.
  • Lobby for social service legislation that provides a scaled reduction of benefits as wages increase rather than the all-or-nothing approach used now which disincentives work.

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