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Initiative to recruit SD jobs, workers falls short

Gov. Dennis Daugaard
Gov. Dennis Daugaard

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- An initiative by Governor Dennis Daugaard that was intended to draw 1,000 workers to the state has come up far short.

Daugaard announced the New South Dakotans initiative in January 2012. Daugaard told lawmakers he would sharply scale back the program this week, after only about 100 employees had come to South Dakota, at a cost to taxpayers of about $1 million. Under the program, companies with jobs they had failed to fill in South Dakota could sign a contract with the state.

The state would then pick up half the cost of the recruiting fee charged by international recruiting firm. Tony Venhuizen, a senior adviser to Daugaard, says the ``program was used a lot more slowly than had been hoped.''