Rapid City Chamber Praises Signing of HB1111
– By Rapid City Chamber
RAPID CITY, SD – The Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce and Ellsworth Air Force Base applaud the South Dakota Legislature’s passing and Governor Noem’s signing of HB1111. This bill reduces barriers for professional licensing for military spouses in South Dakota by allowing boards to recognize the licenses in good standing that spouses hold from other states. The Chamber of Commerce, South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, Representative Diedrich, and Senators Solano and Partridge worked closely with military spouses and licensing boards and associations to construct and advocate for this legislation helping our military spouses continue their careers while in South Dakota.
“Our member businesses tell us repeatedly that workforce shortage is one of the largest roadblocks to their growth. Department of Defense reports that military spouses suffer from an 18% unemployment rate and an even larger underemployment rate. We have a population of highly skilled workers who are seeking employment and career growth right here in Rapid City. We should be able to connect those dots. Thanks to the work of our partners, the South Dakota legislature and Governor Noem, we are one step closer to doing that.” Linda Rabe, Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.
Seeing the benefit to the entire state, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce was a vocal proponent for passage of this legislation. “We congratulate the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce on their successful efforts to remove barriers for military spouses seeking to practice their professions while in our state. The passage of HB1111 is an important step in our statewide efforts to address workforce challenges.” Jason Ball, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce CEO.
With the passage of HB1111, professional and occupational boards will be able to recognize the licenses held by military spouses from other states, while stationed in South Dakota, allowing military spouses to continue their professional growth without costly and timely burdens of re-licensing. Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing Commander, highlighted the importance of this legislation, “I want to thank the South Dakota legislature, Governor Noem, Black Hills business community and all our community partners for taking the necessary steps to strengthen our military families, which allows us to increase our focus on the mission of the 28th Bomb Wing and United States Air Force. The passing of this measure demonstrates that our state officials understand the concerns expressed by our military families.”
The collaborative work on HB1111 exemplifies the proud support that Rapid City and the state of South Dakota has for our military members and their families. Early in 2018, the Air Force identified state-to-state professional licensing as a barrier to employment for military spouses. Seeking to improve quality of life for spouses stationed in South Dakota, many community partners gathered to find a solution. HB 1111 is the result of work and input from many state industry associations, South Dakota Design Professionals, AIA South Dakota, licensing boards, local legislators, the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, and the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority.
“Our friends and neighbors serving our country while stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base are appreciated members of our community. This new law removes time consuming and often costly barriers to them working under valid occupational and professional licenses issued in other states. It also helps increase the workforce our businesses need to grow. I am proud South Dakota shows its appreciation and respect for the members of our armed services and their families.” Rep. Mike Diedrich, prime sponsor of HB1111.
The Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization of nearly 1,200 businesses and professional leaders dedicated to promoting a strong business climate in the Black Hills Region. The Chamber prides itself on promoting a healthy economic environment and being the bold voice of business in Rapid City. Learn more at rapidcitychamber.com.