South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on the Power of Work

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Kristi Noem is no stranger to work. Growing up on a ranch, she and her siblings were raised to respect hard work and appreciate the dignity that comes with it. She even postponed college to serve as general manager of her family’s business after her father was tragically killed in a farming accident. Hard work and perseverance enabled her family to overcome hurdles that stood in the way of success, but that wasn’t enough for Kristi. She wanted to pursue more opportunity and support individual independence for everyone—and so began her political career.

As Governor of South Dakota, Kristi is working to ensure government programs have the right kind of impact on South Dakotan families: not penalizing work or family businesses but instead, connecting more able-bodied South Dakotans to relevant job training and work. With a near-record low unemployment rate of just 2.9 percent and thousands of available jobs across the state, her goal isn’t to shepherd South Dakotans who’ve fallen on hard times to welfare. It’s to get them working.

“I believe in work and I think that people feel valuable and are able to contribute to society,” Noem says in a new video released by the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Work connects individuals to better health care options, higher incomes, and a dignity and independence that no government check or program could ever provide. And Governor Noem unabashedly supports South Dakotan’s ability to get the job done.

As a former state legislator and Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor Noem is uniquely positioned to maneuver through state and federal programs to ensure they’re bringing a positive impact to South Dakotans stuck in poverty. Her support of work and family is more than just a Western tradition, it’s a personal experience. Her desire to keep that tradition alive through smart policy is something worth talking about.