South Dakota tourism industry seeks answers to workforce shortage

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Source: KNBN-NewsCenter1
By Calvin Cutler
March 1, 2019

Tourism leaders met in Rapid City on Friday afternoon to work on challenges on the horizon. The round-table discussion at the Hotel Alex Johnson with state tourism leaders looked to grow the Black Hills biggest industry.

2018 marked the 9th consecutive year of growth with visitors spending just shy of $4 billion. But leaders are concerned about the lack of workers to fill the state’s nearly 50,000 tourism jobs.

According to Jim Hagen, the secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, many of those jobs are in the Black Hills.

“I think our biggest challenge right now is labor,” said Hagen. “And for our tourism business in the state, it affects the hours they can stay open, it even affects full-time employees who even have a job because they can’t find part time labor.”

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