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South dakota

Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Department of Labor

Meet Carrie

Workforce Challenge

Carrie felt she had been very lucky finding good jobs, considering her lack of a four-year college degree. During 13 years in various office/management jobs, she had acquired new skills in addition to learning typical office administrative duties. That string of good luck came to an end, however, when she learned her current company was closing business. She questioned her ability to become employed again, competing against individuals with college degrees in a tough job market.

Workforce Solution

As she worked through the information provided for dislocated workers by DOL’s Rapid Response Team, Carrie realized that her job loss might offer an opportunity to continue her education and finally capture that degree. In-depth discussions with DOL staff assured her the Dislocated Worker Program could help her attain her education goal. Madison is home to Dakota State University, where Carrie spent a week talking to representatives in the admissions and financial aid departments, as well as several degree areas. Deciding to pursue an associate degree in Business Administration, Carrie suddenly found herself a college student again.

Outcomes & Benefits

Two months later, Carrie was offered a full-time job on the campus of South Dakota State University (SDSU) in nearby Brookings. With the encouragement of the career counselors at the DOL office, Carrie found a way to continue her education while accepting an entry-level secretary position in the electrical engineering department. Later, with her degree in hand, Carrie was promoted to a program coordinator position in the alternative power technologies group at SDSU. Her future plans include a master’s degree. Congratulations, Carrie!

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