'Back to Sodak' aims to recruit more workers back to Sioux Falls

Published: Jul. 15, 2017 at 8:15 PM CDT
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There are thousands of open jobs in Sioux Falls right now and the Sioux Falls Development Association is working to fill those positions by inviting people who grew up in the area to come back to Sioux Falls and see what's changed.

Low unemployment is a great thing but having so many jobs open is a problem. So Move Forward Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Development Association wants to know why some people left the area and if they might consider coming back

“We’re inviting them back to Sioux Falls to see just exactly how much the city has changed in the last two to five years, or whenever the last time they visited,” Lon Clemensen, Vice President of Work Force Development with the Sioux Falls Development Association said.

The event was created for bringing past residents back to Sioux Falls.

“We need them for our work force, we have three-thousand to four-thousand open positions in the city, so work force is very important to us,” Clemensen said. And the folks they were hoping to recruit were interested enough to come back for a visit.

“We have had people register for the event, at least ten states across the nation, and people are coming as far as Anchorage, Alaska, mid-way Georgia, and North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas, all across the country, Clemensen said.

A couple that traveled all the way from Anchorage, Alaska, might even stay.

“Well we decided to come to this event because we're thinking about moving to Sioux Falls,” Paul Kotelman, whose wife grew up in in Hartford said. The couple’s ties to South Dakota helped with their decision. “We've wanted to move back to be close to family, and to be back to our roots in the Midwest,” Kotelman said.

They will miss Alaska after being there for 16-years. “We had a lot of fun, there's a lot of recreational opportunities there, so we're looking forward to finding all of the fun stuff to do in South Dakota,” Kotelman said. And that’s exactly what the city has been hoping for.

“So it's the whole gamut, and we're wanting to attract people of all ages, and all occupations, because we have the positions,” Clemensen said.

Back to Sodak hosted brunch at the Premier Center Saturday morning and had a tent set up at JazzFest Saturday night.

The Sioux Falls Development Association says about 80 people signed up for this weekend's event. One couple even came from Norway!