South Dakota's healthcare industry is projected to be among the largest growth industries from 2012-2022. The industry is projected to ADD 7,305 workers to South Dakota's economy which is 13.8% growth.
As a percent of total population, the individuals age 65 and older will increase from 14% in 2010 to 23% in 2035. As South Dakota's entire population ages, so does its current healthcare workforce. South Dakotans will be faced with issues such as longer waiting periods for healthcare, greater travel distances to obtain healthcare, and the potential closure of rural home-town healthcare facilities.
A focus has been placed on high school graduates who can replace the retirees in the workforce and continue to provide quality healthcare services across the state. Over the past several years, the Department of Health has co-sponsored Health Career Camps along with the Department of Education as a way to expand the pipeline for the future healthcare workforce. These camps are one-day, hands-on health career exploration opportunities for high school students.
Students will hear from a variety of healthcare professionals who will discuss what they do and how they got into their professions. Students will also have a chance to experience many hands-on activities throughout the day ... all in an effort to build and sustain South Dakota's future healthcare workforce!