Accepting out-of-state occupational licenses could ease worker shortage

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 7:36 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - South Dakota’s economy has been booming lately, but the workforce still experiences growing pains with a lot of job openings, and some of them require a license. In 2019 Gov. Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1111, providing fast-track occupational licenses for military personnel and their spouses.

“The Air Force does have a license reimbursement program. So if there is a cost incurred to transferring that license, the applicant may be eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursement,” said Lona Christiansen, Ellsworth Air Force Base community readiness consultant .

But there are still shortages that can be eased by relaxing other rules.

The teaching profession has been hit hard in the Mount Rushmore state. The hope is that Senate Bill 76, sponsored by Senator Jim Stalzer, will make it easier for transplanted educators and other professionals to come work in South Dakota.

“So as long as someone from out of state has a full teacher license in another state and they can come to South Dakota, and teach with a provisional license basically, they have a year to get a Native American studies course done, and then they can get the South Dakota license,” said Katy Urban, Douglas School District communications coordinator.

The current bill has yet to be heard in committee.