Mayoral candidates talk unemployment - KOTA Territory News

Mayoral candidates talk unemployment

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For the next several days, Candidate Mark Kirkeby and Incumbent Sam Kooiker will continue to answer some of the big questions facing voters.

Tonight we ask them the about Rapid City unemployment.

Rapid city's 4.1% unemployment rate is much lower than the national average. How much credit goes to city government, and what would you do to reduce local unemployment even further?

"We have an incredible business climate here in South Dakota. I'm fortunate, I can try to take some little minor roll in maintaining our low tax basis. But that enthusiasm, that desire from our citizens, as far as working at that traditional entry level job there will always be those opportunities, but an educated work force is certainly going to turn into dollars. That is part of my economic development plan." Said Kirkeby.

"I think our unemployment numbers are very good and they've been very good for a long time.  It's also important to talk not about the grape skin but also to talk about the onion and the onion is that Rapid City and the Black Hills have fairly significant underemployment. And that's one of the initiatives I and our economic development team are working on, to bring higher paying jobs to Rapid City, including but not limited to industrial sector jobs focusing on the Williston Petroleum Basin."Said Kooiker.

Next we will ask the candidates how they plan to invite more citizen participation in city government.

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