Job Fairs Can Be Successful in Rural Areas Back »

You might think a Job Fair is an event for larger communities or college towns. The Badlands Bad River Region in South Dakota set out to prove that concept wrong. 

Badlands Bad River Region: Job Fair & Business Expo

The second annual Job Fair and Business Expo was recently held in Philip, South Dakota. Over thirty vendors lined the sides of the auditorium for the event. Many had returned from the year before, and many were first-time attendees. They included businesses, secondary education institutions, and government agencies. Some came to provide resources to those walking through, while others were seriously looking for employees.

One of the keys to success for this event was the students who were allowed leave from afternoon classes to attend and learn about resources in their region. High school students from Philip and Wall spent time conversing with potential employers, colleges and technical institutes, and others interested in showing them how much their region has to offer. Many students commented on their satisfaction with the event, and said they didn’t really know what to expect. Some students went home with summer jobs.

Regional Goals

The Badlands Bad River Region covers Haakon, Jackson and Pennington counties in western South Dakota. Known for the Badlands, Wall Drug and other tourist destinations, employers in this region rely heavily on summer help. Being able to connect potential employees with employers filled a need for this sparsely populated area.

The other goal for sponsors of this event was showing students and others in the community just what jobs are available here, and what degrees or further education could lead them back to their hometowns with a good job. From health care to science-based and ag-based positions, students were able to talk with companies in the region to see what it would take to be employed there when they graduate from high school.

The Badlands Bad River Region works with SDSU Extension Community Vitality coaches to initiate and complete projects aimed at strengthening businesses in the region. The former Stronger Economies Together region has been active in getting their nonprofit status so they can serve their region as an economic development presence.


For more information, follow the Badlands Bad River Region on Facebook.

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