By Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) - Yankton doesn’t have enough workers, Yankton Area Progressive Growth officials say, and the problem will worsen in the next few months.

The workforce problem isn’t new, organization President John Kramer said during a meeting earlier this month, and the city needs more than 250 additional workers over the next two to three years, the Yankton Press & Dakotan ( reported.

“We’re challenged with growth problems,” Kramer said. “We need to keep growing the economy, but we have a significant workforce problem that we’ve talked about.”

The Yankton region has a 3 percent unemployment rate. While the jobless rate is welcome, it also means fewer available workers.

Kramer said Yankton needs to grow the economy, find the workforce and provide quality of life.

He said the city has run into difficulty meeting the current needs of some of Yankton’s largest businesses.

“If they get a cold, we get pneumonia,” Kramer said. “And we’re adding new members to the (business) family.”

In Kramer’s opinion, the city must find skilled laborers from the younger labor pool.

“How can we find additional workers? It’s putting a strain on our 10-county (labor) area,” he said. “We’re not providing the workers that we need. We have a need for the millennials, the 18- to 35-year-old workers.”

Board chairman Rob Stephenson said the group and other organizations have teamed up with the Yankton School District, Mount Marty College, the Regional Technical Education Center and other technical training in order to prepare students to be recruited into Yankton’s workforce.


Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan,

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