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Testimonials“I worked for the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources for two years and left to explore other opportunities but chose to come back because I missed my job, coworkers, management staff, and benefits. The staff in my department are supportive and helpful and make coming to work every day enjoyable. I also enjoy working with South Dakota communities to improve their water and wastewater systems which helps protect public health and the environment.”
– Abbey Larson, Engineer I, Environmental Funding Program, DANR “I started working for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources in April 2020. My supervisors and coworkers rose to the challenge of training me during a pandemic, when most everyone was working remotely. With patience and flexibility, they got it done, and now I'm part of a team that's helping to build important water and wastewater infrastructure projects in South Dakota. My colleagues are a family of smart, supportive individuals who truly care about each other and the work we do. It's a rewarding job, the work/life balance is extremely reasonable, and there are plenty of opportunities for me to grow as an engineer.”
“My career is just getting started, and DANR is a good place to gain the skills and experience to become a certified professional engineer. Careers advance quickly here. The benefits are great too! The job has also allowed me to travel and discover little surprises across the state. South Dakota is a beautiful place full of history, and the winters aren't nearly as cold as people make them out to be. I'm glad I made the move.”
– Suzanne McKinley, Engineer I, Environmental Funding Program, DANR “I have been working for the South Dakota Department of Revenue since 2010. I had moved back home to Aberdeen after working for the ND Department of Labor. The job has been an amazing experience. No two days are the same. I love helping the taxpayers of South Dakota learn how to apply the tax laws and rules to their business. It is a wonderful feeling when you have helped them through their good times and understood their bad times. The remarkable training that I received has prepared me to face each day head on. The people I work with are fantastic and I have the privilege to call them my work family. Going to work each day when you love your job is not work.”
– Karen Swank, Senior Revenue Agent “I have been employed by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks in Pierre since June 2018 as a Financial Program Assistant. The Fiscal staff trained and guided me in my new position and were patient with me during my training and continue to answer my questions when faced with uncertainty. The GFP Team across the state truly cares about the work they do for wildlife, fisheries and our state parks by going above and beyond. GFP continues to promote outdoor opportunities for families even when times are tough because GFP is all about family. GFP continues to be a great place to work and I am thankful to be part of a team who takes so much pride in what they do.”
– Rachel Switzer, Financial Program Assistant “I have lived in Southeastern South Dakota my entire life. After college I worked in retail sales in Sioux Falls for 15 years. I was tired of working weekends and holidays and missing out on my kids activities. I started working at the DOT in September of 2018. I am now able to attend all my kids activities and have all my weekends and holidays off to spend with my family. I immediately felt appreciation and respect from my supervisors and coworkers. I enjoy coming to work and the hours seem to fly by, which is something I couldn’t say at my last job.”
– Cameron Sprecher, SD DOT “I accepted a position with SDDOT out of the Central Office in Pierre over four years ago. Wanting to utilize and expand on the knowledge I had gained in my earlier careers and college education it was an excellent opportunity. Having previously been employed with the State of South Dakota I was excited to step back in the door with a new state agency in my hometown. SDDOT is driven by innovation to stay on the leading edge of change as the transportation industry adapts. Not only advancements in engineering drive this innovation, but improvements in environmental impact avoidance and minimization. My passion has always been the outdoors, now I can make a difference in helping to manage and protect the resources I enjoy while serving the people of South Dakota.”
– Kit Bramblee, Environmental Scientist III “I moved to Pierre over three and a half years ago to expand my structural engineering career with the DOT. I am originally from a suburb outside the Greater Philadelphia area. While I am over 1500+ miles away from my family, the Office of Bridge Design has been incredibly hospitable, welcoming me into their family-like atmosphere. I enjoy coming to work every day and being challenged, whether it is designing a prestressed girder bridge, a skewed steel girder bridge, box culvert, or any special structure thrown my way. I feel fulfilled knowing I am making a difference in the communities all across South Dakota, improving the infrastructure one design after another. Although I miss Philly soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, I like to believe I have expanded my cooking skills since I moved to Pierre.”
– Ariana Griffey, Engineer II “One year into starting my career at the Department of Revenue, I continue to find myself excited for each and every day that I get the opportunity to grow and discover effective communication for South Dakotans. Here at DOR, we call our staff a team, and that’s exactly how it feels. Our leadership is always reminding us of their appreciation and are always willing to lend a helping hand when needed. We run on an open mind to new opportunities, continued education, and shared knowledge from the countless employees who have dedicated their time to working at the Department of Revenue. Starting my career and moving to Pierre, centered around the river in a nice sized town, is everything I could ask for.”
– Stacey Anderson, Marketing and Communications Specialist “After graduation in Illinois, I could not wait to get back to South Dakota. I had family here and I just felt more relaxed and at home. I had two job opportunities with the state in 1982, and after 39 years I am glad that I chose a career with the Motor Vehicle Division. I have held many different positions within the division that have given me a wide variety of duties, experiences and taken me places I may never have gone. I have met thousands of great people through my job, dealing with customers, other departments, legislators, businesses and state agencies nationwide. I am a few years away from retiring yet but glad that I have an great retirement system for when I am ready.”
– Monica Weischedel, Deputy Director of Policy and Procedures “I do enjoy working for the DOT for many reasons. The biggest reason is knowing I am doing my part to keep the roadways safe and clear of snow and ice in the winter time. I know that many people depend on the DOT to get to work, deliver products and services to customers, and be able to return home at the end of the day. To realize that I am one of the people that keeps people safe and able to do the things they want to do is a very good feeling.”
– Craig Christeson, Highway Maintenance Worker “I’ve been working for the DOT in the Rapid City Area office as a technician since May of 2014. I had on the job training my first summer by an experienced technician and certification classes in Pierre that winter. I inspect the contractor’s work on construction projects for roads and bridges and test the materials they use. My first 5 construction seasons were on projects on Hwy 34 near Sturgis, the new service road near Piedmont, I-190 in Rapid City, and I-90 near Piedmont. I inspected the construction of 11 bridges on those projects, which I loved and was very gratifying to see them being built from the ground up. Since then, I have been working on projects in Rapid City, reconstructing Omaha St. with a bridge widening, building new ADA complaint ramps on Omaha St. and Mt. Rushmore Road, adding a turning lane and sidewalk to Deadwood Ave., and a bridge repair over Rapid Creek. I grew up on a local ranch, so I’m grateful that my job allows me to spend most of my time outdoors and stay close to my family. I like the people I work with and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
– Jana Morris, Project Technician “My job is very hands on. I get to touch nearly every aspect of projects at the DOT. I get to do a lot more here than I would at more traditional engineering jobs, as well as see what my work does and what I do helps others. I get to take part in work groups and feel like I’m included on so many different projects. The environment here makes it so you’re not afraid to make mistakes. If you do, you own up to it, learn from it, and move on. It’s a good feeling. The biggest surprise working here is the culture. I feel challenged, but I also feel supported.”
– Hannah Covey, Transportation Planning Engineer “You’d be surprised how much technology and innovation there is here. We’re often the first in the region to use new innovations like high friction surface treatments. The hours are great. The people are great. The work/life balance is great. The data that I generate helps so many people improve their decision making. That’s very gratifying. I love the communication here. That helps me manage many different projects seamlessly. We get a lot of face time with supervisors. It helps us learn and we feel more connected to what we’re doing. I feel like I have free reign to dip my toes into a lot of different projects.”
– Derek Ferwerda, Pavement Condition Engineer “The people who succeed here are the ones who can adapt to change. We’re always trying to be on the forefront of innovation. I also appreciate the mentoring program they have in place. I get exposed to advanced things like bridge inspections that I never would be able to do elsewhere. I’m very impressed with the opportunity for career growth at the DOT. You just can’t beat the benefits here. Seeing the work I do after the project is complete is very cool. I get a lot of thank yous and feel very appreciated. I always feel supported and connected to others here.”
– Dani Doorn, Assistant Pavement Management Engineer “The atmosphere at DOT is great. It’s very hands-on, yet it’s laid back with a lot of open communication. While in school, I always thought I’d work in the private sector, but I’m so glad I found this opportunity. The training program is fantastic. You get exposure to many parts of the industry, which is very interesting. People are always looking out for you and helping you so you can advance your career. I was able to be part of the Highway 100 Project in Sioux Falls. What a great experience! I’m very proud of that. “I love math, geometry and science. I also have a need to be in public service. This career takes what I love and lets me use those skills to help others.”
– Helen Squyer, Structural Engineer “To be honest, I really didn’t know what the DOT did before I got here. I’ve been pleasantly surprised because it’s so dynamic and full of very complex projects that test my abilities. I like the variety I have in my job. There’s always something new to work on. Plus, I get to see my work turn into something important. I like the accountability. There’s no one-upmanship here. A lot of people think of a job at DOT as a starting point. If that were true, there wouldn’t be so many people who stay. I think people appreciate the stability, variety and flexibility found here. I get to drive the jobs I do. It makes me proud. Plus, what I do has lasting impact so even my grandkids will be proud! It’s very satisfying to build things that last for generations. Plus, it feels good to know that my work plays an important role in keeping people safe.”
– Jesse Nelson, Project Engineer