Students and businesses across South Dakota have a new way to connect, thanks to an online matching system launched by the Departments of Education and Labor and Regulation. The goal of the Future Workforce Finder is two-fold: attract potential employees for business and industry and allow students to explore careers available in their home state.
The Future Workforce Finder provides employers with a platform to showcase opportunities available at their business. Options might include internships, job shadows, tours and classroom visits, both in-person and virtual. Schools work with students to connect them to opportunities that meet students’ interests and skill sets.
“First-hand experience in business and industry is a game changer for young people,” Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson said. “Exposure to real-world work experiences gives students a chance to try out their talents and interests and leads to informed choices about their future career paths.”
“This innovative database is another tool to help with recruitment,” state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman said. “If an employer can pique the interest of a student before they choose a career path, the student is more likely to look for a job closer to home when they are done with their postsecondary education or training.”
This first phase of the Future Workforce Finder launch focuses on business and industry. Interested South Dakota employers can register their business now by creating a profile at https://weekofwork.sd.gov/.
Later this year, educators will be able to begin using the system to make connections between students and employers.
The system is being funded with federal dollars available to the Department of Education through the American Rescue Plan.
“We are committed to using these funds wisely by investing in projects that set our South Dakota students and educators up for long-term success,” Sanderson said.