Aberdeen hopes to keep Presentation College employees

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:36 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Presentation College employs 125 staff members, which means that the Aberdeen workforce will decrease when the college closes in August.

To help their employees find new positions, Presentation will be holding a Career Fair on January 30th and 31st.

”We’re bringing in institutions of higher education from across the region who are coming to campus. In the morning, they will be having the Career Fair for faculty and staff. In advance, I’ve asked them to send me a list of the employment opportunities they have available so I can send it out to faculty and staff,” said Presentation College President Paula Langteau.

Dr. Langteau says Presentation will also host a job fair later this spring for careers outside of academics.

For employees like Presentation College head football coach Steve Heimann, the future is unknown. Heimann is more concerned about the fate of his athletes and assistants at the moment.

”For me right now, the mission is to get the staff and the players homed, and then sort of figure out what’s next from there, and we have time to do that. As far as myself, personally, I don’t know. We’ll see what comes of it. I’ve had a lot of conversations trying to help our staff find a new place, trying to help our players find a new place. Right now, that’s really the mission,” said Heimann.

The city, however, is hoping most of the faculty and staff choose to stay in Aberdeen, but with one less higher learning institution in the Hub City, finding academic work might be difficult.

“I think that our community has 125 jobs to offer, but some of these people are so specific. I know that some of the people in groundskeeping and maintenance and that kind of thing have already transitioned into other positions. We’re glad to have those people, but we’ll be sad to see the ones that have to pursue other opportunities in academics have to leave this community,” said Aberdeen Mayor Travis Schaunaman.

Mayor Schaunaman says there are other opportunities in Aberdeen outside of academics that could keep workers in the community.

”Some of the people that have really specific academic curriculum jobs are going to have a tough time finding work here in Aberdeen that suits those purposes. We’re hoping that they stick around and that they choose to do something else that’s maybe similar, but not exactly the same,” said Schaunaman.

Presentation College offered multiple nursing programs, and Schaunaman hopes those rural healthcare professionals help fill open positions in the medical field.

”The medical industry right now is hiring. They’ve got a lot of open positions. So, it was really nice to have a nursing program here in Aberdeen to be able to offer a workforce to the two hospitals, and I think that a lot of these people with nursing backgrounds and that kind of a thing will easily be able to find employment here, should they choose to stay,” said Schaunaman.

Presentation College is guaranteeing their staff employment through May, and is offering staggered end dates and final compensation based upon their responsibilities.