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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Chemist and cancer researcher finds ‘well-rounded life’ at SDSU

Tell us about yourself, including when your interest in science began, your education and research experience, and what led you to your current position as Assistant Professor and founder of the RAWC Lab at South Dakota State University.

My name is Dr. Rachel Willand-Charnley. My interest in science began in the lab of my grandfather’s veterinary clinic. He served both large and small animals. I would spend summers on “the ranch” in Illinois with my grandparents. During this time, I would go to “the clinic,” where I would watch him in the operating room and in his lab. I distinctly remember wearing scrubs and a lab coat while looking at parasites from various “patients” under the microscope. This was the beginning of my interest in science.


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Early career spotlight: From Coyote to researcher...and beyond

Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why the University of South Dakota was the right fit for you, and what led you to pursue the major you selected at USD.

My name is Katrina Hosley. I was born in Sioux Falls, and I graduated from Lennox High School. Originally, I was interested in forensic pathology and contemplated pursuing a career as a coroner, which led me to look for good schools with good medical programs close to home. USD had the best medical school in the region, and I also had friends there and experienced the campus with those students, and I liked it. USD also had a good biology program.

As part of my biology major and chemistry minor, I worked in a lab at USD, and that’s how I fell in love with lab work. I quickly knew that this was the best career path for me.


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New additions to ag education prepare students for jobs of the future

One look at some of the newest additions to South Dakota State University make it clear: Ag-related education is changing.
 
“We’re doing things that are really relevant to all the real, major grand challenges that face society today,” said John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn-Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
 
There are 2,000 undergraduates and 300 graduate students in the college, spread across 23 majors. Many of them are working and learning in facilities unlike any other in the country – preparing them for a huge range of in-demand jobs.
 
“There’s probably never been a more exciting time to be in this type of college for a student in the future than it is today,” Killefer said.


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SFDF awards commemorative plaques to WIN Summit speakers, sponsors

As a gesture of gratitude for their contributions of time, talents and financial support, all of which helped to make the second annual WIN in Workforce Summit a success, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation gifted commemorative plaques to the 40 speakers and the 13 sponsor organizations who supported the August event.

“Due to the generosity of our business partners, the WIN in Workforce Summit was a resounding success,” said Denise Guzzetta, Vice President of Talent and Workforce Development. “We at the Sioux Falls Development Foundation are grateful to the speakers for sharing their experiences and to the sponsor companies for supporting our shared vision to equip and to grow the Sioux Falls area workforce for the betterment of our business community.”


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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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