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SD Department of Education
April 2021  
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SECRETARY’S COLUMN: SD Week of Work open to middle and high school students

Rewind to when you were in middle and high school, thinking about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Was it a tough decision? Were you one of the lucky few who had a clear direction early in life? Or did you just kind of figure it out as you went? Did a mentor or professional you admired shape your decision?

The South Dakota Week of Work is April 19-23. I can’t wait. Our students will hear from and engage with professionals across South Dakota who work in dozens of career fields—a workforce smorgasbord that will open their eyes to great jobs, unique career paths, and opportunities they haven’t yet realized are in their backyard.

Tuesday, April 20, through Thursday, April 22, students can participate virtually in live panel discussions with South Dakota business and industry professionals. Students can choose from a variety of panels each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. CT. Almost 100 panelists from 27 communities will represent career fields in agriculture, business, public service, private sector service, science and healthcare, and manufacturing and construction, for a total of 36 panel discussions.

The week’s events are open to all middle and high school students. Registration information, resources, and a schedule can be found on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website.

I’m excited for our young people to learn directly from people in fields that interest them. These are professionals who have worked in South Dakota and contributed to the successes of our communities. It’s going to be a lively and engaging week. It wouldn’t be possible without our great partners at the Department of Labor and Regulation, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the South Dakota Retailers Association, and the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

At the end of the week, a live wrap-up session will help students take the next steps in their career paths with information about soft skills, job shadow experiences, and internships. Panel discussions will be recorded and made available for later viewing.

Businesses have also submitted videos spotlighting careers within their organizations. These videos are already available on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website.

We look forward to seeing your Week of Work celebrations and students’ engagement. As you share photos and success stories, tag #SDWeekofWork on social media.

Thank you for all you do for South Dakota students!


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