Students Explore Career Opportunities during South Dakota Week of Work

Posted on April 30, 2021

Middle and high school students had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career options across the state through in-person and virtual panel discussions during the first South Dakota Week of Work, April 19-23, 2021.

More than 3,200 students from 70 school districts attended 36 virtual panel discussions from 108 different panelists in career fields including agriculture, business, public service, education and human services, science and healthcare, and manufacturing and construction.

The South Dakota Week of Work is a collaborative partnership developed by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Department of Education, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, South Dakota Retailers Association, and South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

While the state agencies and partners set up virtual options for students to engage in career exploration, many school districts were able to offer career exploration in the classroom. Hanson School District hosted the Human Services, Hospitality & Tourism, and Education & Training Career Cluster. Forty guest speakers shared their experiences and advice with 94 students in grades 9-11.

Requested careers for this panel included: psychologist, speech-language pathologist, teacher, music teacher/ band director, psychiatrist, social worker, special education teacher, chef, hairstylist, child and youth worker, sociologist, child life specialist, and athletic trainer.

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Hanson High School Students

Photos courtesy of Hanson School District. Copyrighted and may not be republished without written permission.

Garretson School District shared these photos of students and teachers attending panel discussions both in-person and virtually. Students were able to interact and ask questions during the presentations. The Department of Labor and Regulation’s Career Advisor, Aly, from the Sioux Falls Job Service office was in attendance to offer support and answer questions. She has office hours every Tuesday at the high school.

Garretson Week of Work

Photos courtesy of Garretson School District. Copyrighted and may not be republished without written permission.

One of the goals for the Week of Work is to expose young South Dakotans to the many great career opportunities available to them right here in our own state. Not only did planned activities provide a unique career exploration opportunity for youth, but will hopefully encourage those future workers to remain in South Dakota when they begin their careers.

“I’m so grateful for the overwhelming response from all the business and industry representatives who stepped up to connect with students in this way,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “As a leader of workforce development efforts, I continually see examples and hear stories underlining the importance of making informed career decisions. That’s exactly what this week was about.”

Thank you to the panelists, sponsors, moderators, teachers, students, and everyone behind the scenes who played a role in making this year’s Week of Work a huge success.

Visit weekofwork.sd.gov to view the archived panel discussions and 61 unique day-in-the-life videos. Then get in touch with your local job service Career Advisor to help get you on a path to your future career.