By Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota’s largest city is putting out the “Help Wanted” sign.

Sioux Falls expects about 70 workers to retire this year - double the norm and about 6 percent of the city workforce. More than 50 of them plan to leave this spring.

“This is kind of unprecedented territory for us,” Human Resources Director Bill O’Toole told the Argus Leader newspaper ( ).

Retirees used to be covered by the city’s health insurance program. Those retiring this year get a stipend to buy their own, and many employees held off on retiring last year so they would be eligible for the stipend - $40 per month for each year they worked for the city.

O’Toole said new workers bring fresh ideas but that longtime employees take knowledge with them. The city tries to plan ahead to have retirees pass that knowledge on to the new hires.

“That’s always a challenge when you have that 30-plus-year employee walk out the door,” he said.

The city throughout the year will be posting jobs in various departments: legal, environmental, public safety, library, economic development, health care, planning, public works, building services, information technology, finance and human resources. The city has received as many as 400 applications for some positions.

“We do try to cast a wide net,” Human Resources Manager Jane Hannestad said. “We would really love to diversify our workforce to look like our community.”


Information from: Argus Leader,

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