A Sioux Falls group is futuristic in how it looks at workforce development which in turn will help the city continue to grow.

Sioux Falls Thrive was developed out of a concern for businesses being able to fill the positions they will need to meet consumer demand. Candy Hanson is with the group and calls the initiative a cradle-to-career effort.

“You’ve got to look at the kids coming through the education system and you’ve got to look at what your workforce is going to look like in 15 years. Our focus is making sure that kids have the resources they need to achieve their maximum educational and career potential.”

One of the immediate needs discovered by Sioux Falls Thrive according to Hanson is that many families live in poverty, which directly affects their chances at success.

“We realize that we’ve just got a lot of young people in our community that are living in poverty. Those kids have a tendency not to be able to get through the K-12 system. If we can’t figure out a way to get them through, we’re not going to have much of a work force in fifteen years.”

Hanson says workforce development affects all grades of employment from highly-skilled to entry-level. Additionally the focus for Sioux Falls Thrive expands beyond what happens inside the classroom to also include all aspects of children’s lives.

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