South Dakota has been trying to plug the "brain drain" for decades. That's the term used when young people leave the state for better opportunities.
As part of the state's Workforce 2025 Initiative, South Dakota launched a website called Dakota Roots and it's helped nearly 500 people get jobs.
Among those coming back home is a couple who's finding sweet success in a landmark building in downtown Sioux Falls.
Once one of the roughest bars in town, this building now has a sweeter side. Queen City Bakery is open in the old Stockman's bar. It's owned by a couple who've come full circle.
Mitch Jackson graduated from Lincoln High School ten years ago, but left the state first for college in Minnesota and then to work in France where he met his wife, who ironically is from Rapid City.
Jackson says, “Sioux Falls and South Dakota in particular, when you're in your 20's, late teens; there's not a lot to do here. You're looking for something different someplace to go, something to do. But when you come back in your 30's, it's completely different place.”
They've taken their baking and business experience they gathered while living in New York City home.
“New York was an incredible place, you could stay there for ever because there's such a great energy and so much to do. But we wanted to open our own place and we knew it was never going to happen in New York.”
Jackson and his wife Kristine Moberg have been so busy in the month
and a half they've been open, they're actually considering hiring a part-time employee, adding back to SD economy.
“The best thing about being back here is support we've gotten from everybody. Not only customers coming in and buying things, but all the local businesses. And you don't get that a lot of other places. It's actually a really nice place to come back to.”
The effort to bring South Dakota natives back to the state is just one part of Workforce 2025. There are also education and businesses initiatives as well.
To learn more about it, tune into Inside KELOLAND this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and then again following our 10 p.m. news.
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