Why Wall Rocks Series – #13 We’re Working on Workforce!

Why Wall Rocks Series – #13 We’re Working on Workforce! Main Photo

1 Jun 2018


The busy summer season has arrived and local businesses are experiencing increased customer traffic. A greater demand for customer service equals a greater demand for employees. Workforce is a top-of-mind issue in Wall for both seasonal businesses and year-round employers.

The Wall Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) understands how important it is for local businesses to have quality employees, so we have been working hard on workforce development!

Bring Your “A” Game to Work

One of the biggest complaints from employers today is a lack of “soft skills,” or, “critical skills” in their employees. These skills often include: attendance, appearance, attitude, ambition, acceptance, accountability and appreciation. To improve Wall’s future workforce, the Wall High School (WHS) senior class learned seven “A Game” workforce skills during the May 14th “Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Work” training held in the Wall School.

The “Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Work” training was offered in partnership with the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

Two “Bring Your ‘A’ Game to Work” trainers administered the eight-hour training to 15 Wall High School seniors. The students worked through each of the seven “A’s” of critical workforce skills.

Upon completing the training, each student received a Certificate of Work Ethic Proficiency. This certificate not only benefits the students by providing a transferable certificate for use with multiple employers, but employers will know the employee is “work ready.”

When asked how they will implement their new “A Game” skills, students said they want to work harder to be on time, try to have a better attitude, improve accountability, show more appreciation to coworkers and improve work appearance.

The training normally costs $100 per trainee, but thanks to support from the Wall School District and a grant from the First Interstate Bank Greater Wall Area Fund, students attended the training at no cost.

Mailbox Project

On May 19th, the community of Wall celebrated the graduation of 17 WHS seniors. This year, Mayor Marty Huether had an opportunity to share a message of congratulations and recruitment. He encouraged them to go out, experience the world and achieve great things. He added that he hopes the Wall community will recruit them back home to start businesses, careers and families.

He shared that the City and WEDC are working hard to improve community facilities, housing and business opportunities to help make the already great Wall community an even better place to create a future.

Mayor Huether’s presentation was part of the third annual Mailbox Project, organized by the City of Wall, Wall-Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce, WEDC, Wall School and local businesses.

The City of Wall sponsored the mailboxes. The mailboxes were decorated with each student’s last name, a blank address space, and “Wall, SD.” Graduates can fill in the address when they set up their mailbox upon return to Wall. Inside each mailbox, graduates received thank you letters the Wall City Council, a letter from WEDC and various additions made by businesses and other community groups.

Reasonable Suspicion Training

Along with preparing for future workforce needs, WEDC realizes the importance of training current employers and human resource directors. Upon request from the community, WEDC, West River Electric Association and the Wall Chamber are working together to bring Reasonable Suspicion training to Wall.

Reasonable Suspicion relates to drug and alcohol testing. Reasonable suspicion training is different than random drug testing. It refers to a situation where substance testing is done based on a belief that an employee currently is using or has been using alcohol and/or drugs in violation of company policies.

The training will be held from 8 am – 10 am, Friday, June 15th in the Wall Community Center meeting room. Cost is $20 per attendee. If you would like to register, please contact WEDC at 605-279-2658 or email walledd@gwtc.net.

Customer Service Training

WEDC is not the only community organization working on workforce. Back by popular demand, the Wall Chamber will be hosting Customer Service Training for Chamber member businesses from 9 am – 11am, Tuesday, June 19th in the Wall Community Center. The training will focus on teamwork, consistency, personal service and attitude. The training is FREE and only available to Chamber members. To register, contact the Wall Chamber office at (605) 279-2665 or email wallchamber@gwtc.net by noon, Monday, June 18th.

As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!

For more information, check out our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @WallEconomicDev.

Cheyenne McGriff
WEDC Executive Director
(605) 279-2658

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