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Help for Your Business Workforce Needs is Nearby

Monday, April 13, 2015

by Kelly Weaver, Small Business Development Center Regional Director


Hiring and keeping employees is one of the biggest struggles for businesses of all sizes and even more so for small businesses with no dedicated human resource staff. Workforce is a hot topic in the state, and many communities have initiatives that are just getting off the ground. At a recent workforce forum, I was reminded of some great resources that can assist small businesses.


The South Dakota Department of Labor is often thought of as a place for job seekers but they offer a number of services to businesses as well.  They can assist with worker recruitment through jobs postings, local advertising, applicant screening and quality referrals.  They administer Federal job training programs which can provide financial assistance.   They can help employers assess job readiness skills of candidates through the use of the National Career Readiness Certificate.  They are always a great source of information about labor laws and practices that small businesses don’t deal with on a day-to-day basis. 


Located within the Department of Labor in Aberdeen, Cornerstones Career Learning Center offers a number of adult education courses that can help train your workforce workforce.  Training would include GED preparation and testing,  English as a Second Language classes and other business and industry training such as Workplace Spanish®, blueprint reading & industrial math, effective time management and customer service to name a few.  Coursework and topics can also be customized to your specific business. 


The Training Place provides a variety of workforce training courses in house and in conjunction with technical schools and other partners..  Standard ongoing offerings include CDL training, welding training, CNA training, and computer training for office productivity software (documents, spreadsheets, databases, bookkeeping).  They have the ability to offer very hands on training in these areas.  In addition, they can customize training to fit your needs.  Some recent examples include first aid training, safety training, lean manufacturing, and leadership to name a few. 


Most businesses in the trades field know that our technical schools produce graduates ready to work in their industry.  However, in a tight labor force, students may already have a job when graduation arrives so it is too late to be looking for job candidates on graduation day.  Businesses may consider working with the Technical Institutes offering degrees in their field to help underwrite a student’s education.  In exchange, the student will agree to work at the business for a set length of time upon graduation.  Large companies are already doing this.  With the new Build Dakota scholarship program, schools have additional options for working with smaller companies who want to participate in this way. In addition, the technical institutes can offer customized training opportunities relative to their programs of study.   


Being an employer can be a complex and tough job but partners like these can help smooth out the bumps.


Kelly Weaver is the Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center in Aberdeen which offers free, confidential business consulting to start up and existing businesses.  She can be reached at (605) 626-2565 or  The Center is hosted by GROW South Dakota (also known as Northeast South Dakota Community Action Program).

Category: GROW SD

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GROW South Dakota
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