South Dakota Departments Partner to Recruit Tourism Workers

May 10, 2021

PIERRE, SD – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced the details of a new partnership between the South Dakota Departments of Tourism and Labor & Regulation (DLR) to recruit qualified candidates to fill employment vacancies within the state’s tourism industry.

“The success of our tourism industry is a major factor in South Dakota’s economic health,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “South Dakota’s economic success has led to the lowest unemployment rate in America. While that is excellent news, we have more job openings than workers to fill them – especially in travel and tourism. This campaign will recruit more workers to our state to support tourism, our second largest industry.”

Tourism industry businesses are encouraged to post their job openings on SDWORKS, the state’s largest jobs database, which is run by DLR. SDWORKS utilizes the latest technology to match job seekers to employment opportunities. The more information provided by employers, the smarter the match. The database consistently has more than 23,000 job openings. Job openings in the tourism and hospitality industry can be found here.

Governor Noem initially announced the tourism workforce recruitment campaign at a press conference at Mount Rushmore on May 3 to kick off National Travel & Tourism Week.

In 2020, a total of 49,500 jobs were supported by the tourism industry, representing one out of 12 jobs in South Dakota. Those jobs include full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs. Tourism generated $1.6 billion in income for tourism workers in 2020.

“Our partnership with DLR is a great first step in addressing shortage in the hospitality workforce,” said James Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “We’re supporting South Dakota’s tourism businesses by matching them with quality individuals so they can focus on what they do best: taking care of visitors to our state.”

“With the leadership of Governor Noem and her passion for finding solutions to real issues in South Dakota, we’ll continue to address workforce opportunities across our state,” said Marcia Hultman, Secretary of the Department of Labor & Regulation. “We’re focused on solutions that will set the state’s jobs market up for success, not just in 2021, but also for 5 to 10 years down the road.”

South Dakota expects an increased amount of visitation to the state in 2021 due to a pent-up demand for travel, the state remaining Open for Business, the return of the great American road trip, and the state’s ability to deliver a unique product that travelers are looking for in a vacation.