Congratulations Graduates! Who Says You Can’t Go Home? Back »

Congratulations to all the young people celebrating graduations this month, whether is it a high school graduation or a college graduation. You have a reason to be proud. You have dedicated years of learning and now it is time to go out and spread your wings! Yes, this is an exciting time for you. There are so many options! You can continue your education. You can get a job. You can start a business. And then remember, once you have had some of the adventures you always dreamed of, you can go home.

Why start a hometown career?

Home…doesn’t that sound like a great place? We want to keep our young people in South Dakota – or have them return once they have completed their education and lived in some of the places they always thought they wanted to live. And that includes you. Wait – before I have a lot of parents calling me asking me about what I am telling you, that doesn’t mean you move back into your old room at your parent’s house. What it does mean is that we would really like to have you move back to your hometown or a nearby community.

If you have ever listened to the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” that was written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, you may begin to understand what I am trying to say. I know the song is old – 10 years old now, but it has a great message. It was written because of Jon Bon Jovi’s personal passion for his community. The song starts out with the singer trying to get out of this place and running away from the only thing he’s ever known. After being there and doing that, he realizes that he is a hometown boy and that there is only one place they call him one of their own…and that’s alright.

We want you here! Why? Because of your fresh ideas, your energy, and your brains. We know our young people are among the best and brightest and keeping you here or getting you to return would make our great state even better.

Why South Dakota?

I would encourage you to visit Dakota Roots. Dakota Roots is an initiative to help grow our South Dakota workforce – and helps people who want to relocate to South Dakota connect with job openings, moving resources, etc. As you visit this website, you can read some real life stories of people who know South Dakota is where they wanted to be and how they make a great life here.

Hometown Connections!
Your connections to home are so important. This is where your family lives and where everyone knows you. Sometimes it is the idea that everyone knows you is not seen as positive. However, once you live in a place where no one know you, and maybe it seems like no one cares, all the sudden living near those who do know you becomes much more interesting.

Great Job Market!
If you are worried about jobs, South Dakota was voted the #4 best job market in the country in 2014, according to With our business climate, you may decide to be your own boss and own your own business. That could be easier here in South Dakota than almost anywhere else. According to CNN Money, South Dakota is the best state for starting a business and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council said that we have the #1 business climate in the nation for entrepreneurs.

Enjoy the outdoors!
And let’s face it, if you enjoy the outdoors, we have some of the best hunting and fishing in the country. We have an abundance of state and national parks to enjoy. And a clear sky that allows you to actually see those bright stars overhead twinkling.

Good luck, graduates!

Congratulations again on your graduation. We want to say good luck but not good bye. It’s alright to go back home. When you’re ready, we will be here with open arms!

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