More than 100 laid-off employees of a Timber Lake-based company either are or will soon be looking for new jobs.
Online lending company Western Sky is laying off workers at its Timber Lake and Eagle Butte locations because it's facing multiple lawsuits. Now workers are left to find jobs in a place where few are available.
There are still some workers left at Western Sky's Eagle Butte location, but most of them will be gone next week.
"My options moving forward is hoping there's an option to move forward," Margaret Brings Plenty said.
"Right now, I'm looking for a job and I know that it's going to be a challenge," Chayo Makes Room For Them said.
Nearly all of Western Sky's workers live on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which spans Dewey and Ziebach counties. The most recent numbers released show unemployment in that area at more than four times the state average. The company is working with the Department of Labor to help laid-off workers.
"If I do find a good opportunity elsewhere, I will travel to try to earn wages that I earned here," Jennifer Shooter said.
Those wages allowed Shooter to save money for college. Minimum wage, she says, won't. Other workers say they'll consider leaving the area, too, if that's what it takes to find jobs.
"I mean you're going to have to. I don't know what else to do. You can't just live without a job to support your family," Antoinette L Nichols said.
Many say they're trying to find jobs locally and are hopeful that will happen. But with a high unemployment rate, they expect several others will compete for available jobs.
Workers are hopeful a new business will move into Western Sky's Eagle Butte location because the building is brand new. They don't anticipate it will stay empty.