Amazon to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce

U.S. companies are increasingly paying up to retrain workers as new technologies transform the workplace and companies struggle to recruit talent in one of the hottest job markets in decades.

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.50% is the latest example of a large employer committing to help its workers gain new skills. The online retailer said Thursday it plans to spend $700 million over about six years to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce as automation, machine learning and other technology upends the way many of its employees do their jobs.

Companies as varied as AT&T Inc., Walmart Inc., WMT 0.33% JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Accenture ACN -0.45% PLC have embarked on efforts to prepare workers for new roles. At a time of historically low unemployment, coupled with rapid digital transformation that requires high-tech job skills, more U.S. companies said they want to help their employees transition to new positions—and they have their bottom line squarely in focus.


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Southeast Tech building programs to meet industry needs

Fifty years ago, Southeast Tech began in Sioux Falls with six programs and fewer than 100 students.

A half-century later, it’s grown to 60 programs and more than 2,400 students.

“It’s up from last year again, so it’s nice to see that continued interest in trades and technical careers,” said Robert Griggs, who is beginning his third school year as Southeast Tech’s president.

Southeast Tech helps prepare students to secure jobs in the Sioux Falls area by tailoring its program offerings to match areas where workers are needed. That’s resulted in programs teaching skills in the following areas: Business, Transportation Technology, Horticulture, Industrial Technology, Media Communications, Healthcare, Engineering Technology, Law Enforcement, Early Childhood, Information Technology, Agriculture and Technical Studies.

“What’s really critical is that Southeast Tech respond to industry needs,” Griggs said. “In order to do that, we need to be in constant communication and conversation with industry representatives about what they see as current demand and what opportunities are going to exist for careers in the future.”

This school year brought a new program to train medical assistants, developed in response to needs from the healthcare field and with curriculum help from Avera Health and Sanford Health.


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Student researchers can connect with career opportunities at upcoming event

As many as 200 undergraduate students are spending their summer immersed in STEM-related research in South Dakota, and soon they will be in front of business leaders who could go on to hire them.

The research work is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, including the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, and Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, as well as the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network, or SD BRIN.


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USF evolves approach to fit changing workforce needs

As the University of Sioux Falls class of 2019 received its diplomas this month, the school’s president, Brett Bradfield, knows each person could migrate out of his or her field seven or eight times during the career ahead.

Preparing students for that unpredictable future means continually honing the education provided and increasingly working closely with industry to connect and equip students for the workplace.


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Attracting top talent requires creative employer branding

As a human resources executive at Sanford Health, Darren Walker has bought in to his organization’s hiring motto: “See yourself at Sanford.”

It’s part of a broader effort in employer branding – a best practice for organizations trying to land top talent in an increasingly competitive environment.

“I think it’s all about what are we as an employer doing to stand out. Our goal is to be the employer of choice,” said Walker, vice president of human resources.

“We recognize that individuals spend just as much time at work as they do at home or other activities, and we want to create a brand and environment that’s welcoming and that people want to be a part of.”


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Augustana shines nationwide for job placement as it plans for future workforce needs

It’s one thing to find a job right out of college. It’s another to still be thriving in the workforce a decade after graduation.

And a recently released study shows students who graduate from Augustana University are leading the nation when it comes to post-graduation employment.

The university ranked second nationwide, with a 96.05 percent employment rate for its graduates over a 10-year period.


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