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Worker Shortages Key Concern as Governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Meet

(Radio Iowa) The Republican governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota say they’re taking steps to address the region’s workforce shortage. The governors met in the Sioux City metro yesterday (Monday) for the 17th Tri-State Governors’ Conference and spoke to more than 200 business leaders. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says businesses are adjusting to address the workforce shortage and government must, too.

“We want to be a partner in that,” Reynolds says. “We want to help Iowans retrain, reskill, match them up with the opportunities that exist across the state.” South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (NOHM, rhymes with “poem”) says she, Reynolds and Nebraska’s governor were criticized for the way they dealt with the pandemic, but Noem says their approach should be a selling point to get potential workers to move into the region.

“The recruitment of workers is important outside the state to fill the needs that we have,” Noem says. “In South Dakota, tourism is our second largest industry and we’re being creative in how we fill that workforce need.” Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says ending the extra federal money in unemployment checks will get more Nebraskans back in the workforce.

“Wages are driven by the market and I think employers should pay what the market is demanding to be able to employ people,” Rickett says, “but I also don’t believe that the government should be competing with employers on that.” The Tri-State Governors’ Conference which is held every two years in the Sioux City area. One business leader told the three governors that states must act because there just aren’t enough workers, not because of the pandemic, but because older workers are retiring and there aren’t enough younger workers to fill those jobs.
(Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)

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