Gov. Dennis Daugaard
In South Dakota, we have the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the nation. This is a source of pride, but it's also a double-edged sword. Because so few South Dakotans are unemployed, we have a shortage of qualified workers to fill job openings. We lack skilled workers in accounting, engineering, information technology, health care, manufacturing trades and elsewhere. Business leaders across South Dakota have told me that workforce is the single largest obstacle to our continued economic growth. Some businesses have been unable to expand because of the lack of workers.
Classes have begun again, football season will soon be under way and South Dakota’s favorite end-of-summer event is upon us — the South Dakota State Fair, held today through Monday...
Over the last several months, legislators and state officials have looked carefully into our state's economic development programs. I believe that government should always deal with issues in a straightforward and transparent way.
Recently, South Dakota hosted visits from Moody's and from Standard & Poor's, as we prepare for a bond issue by the South Dakota Building Authority later this summer. The visit to South Dakota by these two rating agencies followed a trip to see them last winter by Lt. Gov. Matt Michels and our commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management, Jason Dilges.
Last week I attended the fifth-annual Governor's Agricultural Summit in Deadwood. Each summer the South Dakota Department of Ag holds the summit for producers, elected officials and local business leaders to network, share best practices and learn about the policies that regularly impact agriculture.
Last week was a difficult one for South Dakota. On that Monday night, the Sioux Falls area received record rainfalls. The National Weather Service predicted that the Big Sioux River would reach an all-time high and cause major flooding in Union County. Canton received nearly 9 inches of rain in one night, making the town inaccessible for almost a whole day. In response to the heavy rainfall, I activated the National Guard and sent other state resources into the area to help local officials build up their defenses to flooding. Then, on Wednesday night, severe weather struck again.
In South Dakota our unemployment rate is only 3.8 percent. That's very low compared to the national rate of 6.3 percent, and about half of the rates in California and Illinois. Worse yet, nearly 30 metropolitan areas have unemployment rates of over 10 percent. South Dakota's low unemployment rate is, in part, thanks to the work ethic of our people. South Dakotans don't just love to work, we live to work. Working hard has been instilled in us by our ancestors. This becomes more and more evident to me when I talk to business owners who have locations in multiple states.
Being governor means frequent travel, and in the weeks since the legislative session ended, I've been doing a lot of driving around South Dakota. Spending this time on the road made me appreciate our good state highways in South Dakota -- something that's easy to take for granted. Maintaining a high-class highway transportation system is vitally important to our state's economy.
Each week, all over South Dakota, groups of boys and girls gather in community centers, living rooms, church fellowship halls and school gymnasiums, where they recite a pledge. It goes, in part, "I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living." Many of us immediately recognize the 4-H pledge and I remember my friends and I opening each meeting of our Logan Patrol 4-H Club with these words.
By Gov. Dennis Daugaard The March 31 adjournment of the Legislature signals the end to a successful legislative session. It was a busy session, and I’d like to highlight some...