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Career Center directly involving Philip area

Job openings and job applicants ... Employment representative Dawn Nipp and Pierre Career Center Manager Mark Anderson will be bringing a face-to-face presence of new employer/applicant programs back to the Philip area.

by Del Bartels

"The South Dakota Career Center is still continuing its big push for people to use its self-service programs," said Pierre Career Center Manager Mark Anderson. "But, we want to also communicate to employers and job-seekers the many new programs that we now offer."

Anderson and employment representative Dawn Nipp visited some Philip employers on Wednesday, April 23rd. Nipp will initially be in Philip around once a month and will come directly to area businesses. Above that, she will visit as needed.

Around nine years ago, Career Service visitations to areas like Philip fell away because of personnel changes and funding cuts. Nipp said that now the department is changing to more directly benefit all areas of South Dakota, once again on a face-to-face basis. "The staff likes the one-to-one," said Nipp, "That's truly the best way to help the public."

"We want to reacquaint businesses with our services," said Anderson. "This is not to discount the job applicants, who are important, but once the jobs are listed the applicants will follow."

"It's nice to be able to get back to this area," said Nipp, whose parents, Duane and Deb Fitzgerald, were originally from the Milesville and Philip area. "I have an education background and want to assist people entering the workforce or looking for a career change. In areas like Philip, in general, hearing of a job opening is by word of mouth. The businesses and applicants may not be aware of all the many new programs that are available through the Career Center," she said. Nipp stressed that now business owners or managers can call the Career Center in Pierre or Rapid City to list positions, or they can talk directly to her when she is "out and about in the Philip area."

Nipp said, "The Career Center has always been available 'as called upon,' but if people weren't aware of the services and programs, why would they call?" Workforce development is a top priority of the state. The Workforce 2025 initiative has been created to support this goal. Details on this initiative can be found on the website of www.Work force2025.com. Two of the main programs are Dakota Roots and Live Dakota. Dakota Roots recruits individuals to South Dakota by connecting them to career opportunities with businesses in the state.

Live Dakota attempts to retain current South Dakotans by educating them about the opportunities in-state and the ability to get on the career fast track. "We aren't going to invest our South Dakota funding to see our people leave the state. That's the whole jist of the Governor's Workforce 2025 programs," explained Anderson.

"The federal budget for employment programs is determined annually," said Anderson. "Then the state budget is doled out from that. We are state employees, but funds for the employees and the programs are federal."

Nipp said, "We are totally customer driven. Job seekers and