Entries Tagged 'Employment' ↓

Trail King clueless about a 99.99% worker turnover

Wow, when I read this story, the first thing I thought is how things haven’t changed in 24 years, literally.

They seem to think it is an employee problem, seems to be an employer problem. Reading comments on FB, I hear the same complaints I heard 24 years ago from one of my friends that worked there, NO air conditioning or ventilation for the welders. He was hardly a slacker, he was a hard working farm kid who was a very talented welder and loved doing it, but when you can’t breathe doing your job, it’s time to hit the road. I think he lasted about 15-30 days.

I applaud the Argus and Steve Young for doing this story, it will blow up in Trail King’s face, and they might finally realize that treating your employees like oxen instead of humans will eventually catch up with you.

Remember this is the same company who took state tax dollars to recruit workers. It’s time for all former employees to speak out and tell the governor and the CEO of the company that we have had enough of this less then human treatment from employers.

Do we need to recruit workers to South Dakota & Sioux Falls?

We don’t ­ – But I will get to that in a moment.

With all this hub-bub about the lame ass marketing skills coming from our own community development office and the SD Republic party’s personal ad agency (who continues to mysteriously win all of the State’s RFPs) it has gotten me thinking about the bigger picture, or let’s at least say the bigger more important objective of workforce development.

Last week I was having a conversation about this topic with a Sioux Falls city councilor, and I asked him, “Why do we need to recruit people to Sioux Falls? Isn’t Sioux Falls large enough? Why do we need to grow?”

But more importantly we both had an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment. Why not make salaries, job training and the quality of life for the people who already live here better FIRST. Then once we have declared success on that front, we can show the rest of the country (or even the universe) how we have made South Dakota better for our existing residents with boundless opportunities to advance in your career.

Let’s face it, the first step to a better quality of life is a fatter wallet. I chuckle at these commercials where people are fishing on Bayliners, driving Harleys and recreating in the Black Hills. Guess what, all of these things take money, and with having one of the highest rates of impoverished children in the country, I don’t think too many South Dakotans are driving to the food bank on their Harleys.

Let’s face it, companies in South Dakota CAN afford to pay better, but I will also defend them by saying it is a two-way street, workers that already exist in this state are going to have to be willing to learn new things and make an effort.

We don’t need to recruit workers to our state, we need to recruit companies to make better lives for their current employees which means intensive on the job training, education, and paying above a living wage. It will take a REAL and PERSONAL investment from the companies, not just taxpayers, but hey that’s how the FREE market works. We can’t continue to depend on corporate welfare for these companies to get workers.

If we don’t try this approach, no number of idiotic TV commercials by Loser & Shister or billboards in Downtown Minneapolis of Smiling Mayor Mike are going to turnaround our (qualified) worker shortage.

I have often said “All politics are local” well the same goes for a strong workforce. Let’s cleanup our neighborhood first before inviting other neighborhoods over for a block party.

Put on a tie & get a job! Some more infinite wisdom from our Esteemed Leader

Last Sunday, Mike went to First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls for another exciting edition of his ‘Shut Up and Listen’ session. He gave advice on how to dress for an interview (if they even call you for one) and put his foot in his mouth so many times that I am guessing his breath smells like sweaty toes and shoe leather to this day!

Should teaching English be considered a part of taxpayer subsidized job training?

Around $170K of the $500K the city is awarding in workforce development is going towards immigrants and refugees.

While I am not opposed to teaching them English and using taxdollars to do it, shouldn’t our #1 focus be on actual job training, when it comes to workforce development? When I think of teaching immigrants our language, I look at that as a social service, not a workforce development service.

What do you think? I think it is a very fine line;

Workforce Development Pilot Program Recommends Funding Eight Organizations – Applications Still Being Accepted

In January, the City of Sioux Falls launched a Workforce Development Pilot Program to support and explore activities to address workforce challenges and to drive workforce growth and development. Today, the City announced its intent to award funding to eight local entities that are well-positioned to address workforce development needs in Sioux Falls. Grant awards are proposed for:

  • Employment Edge—$25,000
    Program to focus on recruiting, screening, and finding jobs for nonviolent offenders recently released from state or federal custody
  • Forward Sioux Falls—$50,000
    Creation of a comprehensive community workforce action plan
  • Globe University—$100,000
    Development of individualized training programs for businesses that incorporate on the job and academic learning
  • Home Builders Association of the Sioux Empire, Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, and Sioux Empire Manufacturers—$50,000
    Creation of mobile training labs to teach construction and manufacturing skills
  • Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls—$70,020
    Workforce training program for immigrants and refugees
  • Sioux Empire Society for Human Resource Management—$34,250
    Will host a community-wide workforce development conference
  • Sioux Falls School District, Career and Technical Education Academy—$12,250
    Electrical skills program that provides post-secondary credit for high school students
  • Training Solutions Institute, a division of Southeast Technical Institute—$99,408
    English language and job skills training for immigrant and ethnic populations


The eight awards total $440,928. The City has received 38 applications requesting a total of $1,932,715. An evaluation committee and the City Attorney’s Office reviewed each application. Ten finalists were invited to make a presentation to the group and were scored by the committee according to:

  • Level of impact
  • Investment made by the proposer to execute the program
  • Proposer’s qualifications to successfully deliver the program
  • Quality of interview

Wanted; Professional Bullshi . . . . ah, I mean, Bullrider


We already have the other one covered.

The ‘Spamming’ of the new jobs website doesn’t surprise me. After the site was announced, I commented to a friend, “I wonder how long it will take before someone posts fake jobs?”

Didn’t take to long.

What surprises me that after we spent $24K for a website, you would think the spam filters would be stronger. My filters pick up about 1,000 spam comments a day. I physically moderate (delete) about 10 comments a day. So folks, this is why I moderate my comments, and no one pays me $24K a year to do it, we can always change that.


I may be a ‘Hard Ass’ but at least I am not a ‘Dumb Ass’

YouTube Preview Image

Nothing like being scolded for using the word ‘ass’ by the guy who is rumored to drop the F-Bomb quite frequently to whoever is in the room. As for a grammar reference, the term ‘Hard Ass’ refers to a stubborn mule, you know, the mascot of the party you belong to, Mike? The F-word refers to sex. So Mike, I think the people of Sioux Falls would appreciate you refrain from using the word from now on.

Why is the city spending my ‘tax dollars’ on a ‘help wanted’ website and marketing campaign?


Ego Much? Images: Argus Leader Media

When I first heard about this site and campaign yesterday, I thought it was some kind of April Fool’s joke.

The city council recently allocated $500K for workforce development, which I support, but I was under the impression this was to help businesses recruit workers, not hold people’s hands on how to find a job.

There are numerous private help wanted job sites in Sioux Falls. If you are looking for a job, you have multiple options. With the low unemployment, it is becoming harder for businesses to find qualified people. I have often felt that the solution is that employers in Sioux Falls need to start paying blue collar workers a living wage.

As for the city getting involved in ‘want ads’ maybe they could also include rummage and car sales on the site also, to diversify it :)

This is just a PR move by the mayor, who is considering running for governor.

The Evil Tip Jar


So I attended the Roller Dollz home opener last night at the Arena, I think it has been over 5 years since I was at a bout. The rules have changed a lot, not a lot of contact or action anymore, they should change it to ‘flag derby’.

We also noticed that the Arena still has cup holders (the EC removed a bunch of theirs).

But that is not what this post is about. As I purchased a malt beverage at the bar, I asked the bartender where the tip jar was, they told me they had to ‘hide it’. They also made a colorful comment about Denny Sanford.

I am against this for many reasons, but mainly because of greed and hypocrisy. Besides the fact they charge too much for the beer at the ‘complex’ I think the bartenders should be able to put their tip jars in clear view. Why? Well first off, nothing requires you to tip them, even if the jar is in clear view. By not having the jar in view, it says a couple of things;

1) That the bartenders may be getting paid enough that tips are not necessary or

2) that gratuity may be included in the price.

Neither is true, I’m sure.

I would assume the Arena/Events Center (Ovations/SMG) don’t allow the tip jar because of greed. They want attendees to spend their ‘cash’ on purchases NOT on their employees gratuity. Which is ironic, because we are constantly told about how many jobs the EC and Convention center has created, what we are not told is that they are mostly low paying, part-time hospitality jobs, and to add insult to injury, they have to ‘hide’ their tip jars. Like passively asking for a tip is somehow impolite.

Yet again the management of the complex has shown it will now DICTATE tipping also.

Wonder if the workers will soon have to wear armbands?

We also got a good laugh out of the office printer paper sign taped to the window in the hallway going to the Arena and EC from the Sheraton. After spending millions on signage for the new facility, they must have ran out of signage money.


2014 SD Economic Development Annual Report

This was one of the pages in the report. What does it say to you? Where the rich get richer and the working poor get the shaft. This is so insulting to the hardworking, over taxed workers of South Dakota.



City of Sioux Falls has fewer employees in 2015 then in 2014, and massive salary increases for management

So I was looking at the list of 2015 city salaries last week (DOC:2015-Wages-January) mostly out of curiosity, and decided to pull up my 2014 city salary listing (DOC: Sioux Falls SD 2014-Wages-January) to do a couple of comparisons. As I started digging, I started to see a trend, so I gave the spreadsheets to a friend to see if what I was seeing was correct. A couple of days later, I sit in awe at the massive raises given to management this year compared to the very small 2-3% raises given to hourly employees.


2014 Employees:  422

2015 Employees:  412

2014 Salaries: $29,627,149.78

2015 Salaries: $29,981,602.74

These numbers are approximate due to calculations done to extrapolate hourly to 2040 hours per year average.


2014 Employees: 1087

2015 Employees: 1063

2014 Wages: $46,619,989.80

2015 Wages: $46,891,405.84

Here is a department breakdown of employees (DOC:2014-15 Department list) You will notice in this document that many of the Street Department employees moved from that department into Engineering. I still haven’t figured that one out yet, but it may be some justification for larger raises.

What is shocking is where the big raises came in, mostly the Fire Department. Which I find curious since there have never been any public reports about how effective the FD has been in putting out fires (preventing extensive damage, etc.), just saving lives. Also the fact that the FD is also responsible for EMS emergency calls, and have a good track record with them, yet we have contracted the most expensive ambulance service for the city.

But other departments like the Health Director, Library, Mayor’s office and PD also rolled in some big ones. While the graphic below shows the ‘Big Hitter List’ if you look at the entire city listing (DOC: 2014-15 Combined Salary List) You will see that many in management got over a 7% raise, almost DOUBLE what the hourly wage earners received.


Strangely enough, there seems to be a correlation between departments making the ‘Big Wins’ list and management getting raises. Not sure if this is a coincidence, but I am guessing it is.

I also must point out, this is a simple spreadsheet only comparing WAGES & SALARIES between the two years and doesn’t go into details about bonuses and does not include benefits and pension plans. Wages only, and the percentage increases are based solely on the information provided from the City of Sioux Falls in the two wage tables.

I’ve been told by a city official that certain formulas are used by HR to determine what a salary increase should be when moving up in the department and title changes, and how it compares against the private sector. But I can tell you from reading this preliminary report, I have no idea what that would be, especially when you see a landfill employee getting a $18K a year raise simply by going to salary vs. hourly – it almost looks like an accounting error, and very well could be.

What is disheartening about this review is that the city really is picking ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ when it comes to it’s employees and management (some managers only received a 3% raise). This is something that is more prevalent in the corporate world and not in the public sector where achievements are measured differently.

I guess this is what we get when our city is run like a business.

UPDATE (1): Just when we thought the fun was over with crunching the numbers, Poly brings up a point about the temp staff. Here is breakdown of them (DOC: Temporary employees per year )