Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Career Exploration: Why it is important


The South Dakota Week of Work will take place April 19-23. This exciting week is an opportunity for 10th and 11th grade students to explore career opportunities across the state, with many activities being held virtually, including live panel discussions with a wide variety of business and industry professionals. Registration information is now available on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website.

Marcia Hultman is the Secretary of Labor and Regulation. Here she shares her thoughts on why career exploration is so important.

Hi, everyone. I’m Marcia Hultman, Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Labor and Regulation. As a former teacher, I’ve long known the importance of helping students make connections between classroom learning and the world of work.

I want to help students like yourselves understand WHY career exploration is so important. What you study in school sets an important stage for effective education and your future success.

While I was teaching English, I watched many students as they explored career options and made important decisions about their future. Their choices were not always for the right reasons or based on the best information.  

Now, as a leader of workforce development efforts, I continually see examples and hear stories underlining the importance of making informed career decisions.  

Employees in well-matched careers who enjoy their work and find personal value in it are generally more productive. Turnover resulting from employees discovering too late a field of work is not for them is difficult for employers who’ve invested time, money, and resources hiring and training them.

For young people and others choosing a career path, the investment in education and training is often costly. While there is always value in education, the return on investment is certainly better the more direct the path is to related employment.  

Our state’s employers need workers in many occupations. They offer great opportunities for youth and others in our great state of South Dakota.  

Resources to learn about these opportunities and make realistic, informed decisions about careers are invaluable. Our Labor Market Information Center has several career resources readily available. I encourage you to check out the Career Exploration and Planning Tools available on our website atdlr.sd.gov/lmic.  

The tools include: 

  • Age-appropriate K-12 materials for downloading or printing, including fun career awareness booklets and activities.  
  • A career interest survey with extensive online resources for learning more about occupations of interest.  
  • Exploration of occupations by career cluster.  

All resources are available at no charge online. I encourage parents to check out what’s available too. 

Making informed career decisions is a win-win for South Dakota employers and individuals. It is vital to your success to make a positive impact on our communities and economy as both workers and citizens. Please visitdlr.sd.gov/lmicto learn more about our career planning and exploration tools.  

The South Dakota Week of Work is sponsored by the South Dakota departments of Labor and Regulation and Education, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, the South Dakota Retailers Association, and the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Congratulations to 2021 Perkins Reserve grant recipients

Perkins Reserve grants provide funds to support the purchase of industry-grade classroom equipment or curricula and high-quality professional development opportunities.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a Perkins Reserve grant application this year. The Department of Education reviewed 48 total applications featuring a variety of projects. It’s exciting to see these innovative ideas from our state’s career and technical education programs! 

Congratulations to the following schools on receiving a 2021 Perkins Reserve Grant:


Modernize manufacturing program with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   30,000.00


Add industry-grade welding equipment to enhance the manufacturing program

$     3,970.21

Dakota Valley

Add industry-grade welding equipment to increase the student capacity of welding courses and add dual credit courses

$   20,790.28


Enhance the Intro to Sports Medicine and Medical Terminology courses with industry-grade equipment

$     7,989.68


Enhance opportunities in ag metal fabrication with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   29,750.00


Enhance opportunities in ag metal fabrication with the purchase of a plasma cutting table

$   28,195.07


Purchase industry-grade ag metal fabrication equipment

$   12,264.92

Hot Springs

Purchase plasma cutting system to enhance curriculum in Ag, Food and Natural Resources and Manufacturing clusters

$   30,000.00


Enhance the Ag, Food and Natural Resources program with drone technology

$     5,156.00

Northeast Technical High School

Purchase industry-grade equipment to enhance the Health Science Biomedical program and allow for increased student participation

$   14,888.00

Northern High Tech Consortium

Purchase an interactive seat to provide a real-life experience with the program’s heavy equipment simulator

$   15,845.00


Implement a middle school MakerSpace Lab to foster career exploration and promote CTE

$   19,021.10


Provide instructor training and course equipment for CASE Animal Science and Plant Science courses that will provide CTE for Core Content opportunities for students

$   22,158.80


Purchase industry-grade ag metal fabrication equipment

$     2,600.00