Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Freedom Really Does Work Here

Freedom Really Does Work Here
By: Governor Kristi Noem
September 8, 2023

I launched the “Freedom Works Here” nationwide workforce recruitment campaign in June to tell South Dakota’s story to America. South Dakota has seen unprecedented economic success over the last several years. This resulted in us having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation – but we still had open jobs to fill.

From the beginning, this campaign has been about filling job openings for South Dakota businesses. Our businesses are loving the results, and Americans are answering the call!

We’ve been telling our story to the entire nation, encouraging Freedom-loving Americans to move to the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family. Today, I’d like to tell a bit of a different story. I’d like to share the stories of the South Dakota businesses who have been able to thrive because of this campaign.

I’ve talked to businesses across South Dakota about their workforce struggles. Since the launch of this campaign, local businesses have seen an increase in out-of-state applicants, welcomed new employees from across the country, and eased the workforce shortages that used to hinder their success.

Cole-TAC in Rapid City, DemKota Ranch Beef in Aberdeen, and Journey Construction Group in Sioux Falls are just a few examples of all the businesses that have been hiring out-of-state workers to fill their open jobs.

“Where most politicians just say they are working on a problem, Governor Noem is actually doing something about it. Here at Cole-TAC, we have started to receive more and more applications from folks living out-of-state. They are all very well qualified, and it’s clear that they are excited about the prospect of moving to South Dakota,” said Cole-TAC President Dustin Coleman. “One of our applicants even said that Governor Noem’s ‘Freedom Works Here’ TV commercials are the reason they looked into moving to and working in South Dakota. We are excited to start welcoming these folks to our great state.”

“In addition to aggressively recruiting in our home state of South Dakota, DemKota Ranch beef routinely recruits teammates out-of-state. DemKota recruiters have visited Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida, Colorado, and Missouri. We have hired teammates from all of these states,” said DemKota Ranch Beef CEO Adam Bode. “In the last six weeks, DemKota has welcomed 82 out-of-state teammates and families into our company and community. DemKota Ranch Beef will continue to support our local cattle producers to competitively market their animals, where locker plants and large conglomerates fail to meet their needs.”

“Journey Construction Group has already hired two employees from out-of-state just in the last few weeks – one from Alaska and one from Colorado. With our need for workers, we’ve been grateful to Governor Noem for her efforts to share South Dakota’s story with the rest of the country,” said Journey Construction Group CEO Randy Knecht. “The two positions that we have already filled are professional positions, meaning they are year-round jobs, rather than seasonal roles like many jobs in construction tend to be. We are excited to hire more workers from within and outside the state of South Dakota as our need for more workers will increase again this spring.”

These businesses are proving that South Dakota’s story inspires people. Folks want to move their families to a state that values Freedom – that still believes in the beauty of the American Dream.

In the three months since the campaign launched, the five TV ads have been viewed almost 700 million times. 6,501 of people have filled out the online job application, and 1,402 of those folks are in the final stages of moving to South Dakota.

In South Dakota we’re showing America that Freedom really does work here.


5 thoughts on “Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Freedom Really Does Work Here”

      1. “derangement-syndrome” derangement syndrome is even more real i see. i guess firefighters have flame-derangement syndrome then. good to know.

  1. I supervised the hiring within an organization that had around 100 professional and support positions. Persons hired from out-of-state usually stayed two years. Persons hired from SD but not in the near geographical area stayed three to four years. Persons hired from the local region stayed much longer and encouraged their family members to be employed locally

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