The month of May brings graduation ceremonies at all levels of education across South Dakota.
To all our graduates, whether graduating from high school, university, or technical institute, I offer my heartiest congratulations. Not everyone has the persistence and determination to complete all the steps to earn an academic degree.
Hats off for your accomplishment. It will serve you well in the future.
Graduation is an important step, but it is just one step. The accomplishments that mark your life are yet to come. Fortunately, South Dakota's parents, teachers, instructors, and professors have imparted lessons that make South Dakota graduates some of the best-equipped in the world. Armed with a strong work ethic, self-reliance, and a sound education, you can do well in the world. Rely on yourself, believe in yourself, and strive for great things.
Fortunately, today's graduates will emerge into an improving economy with a better outlook than their peers found a few years ago, when our country was in the depths of the recession. South Dakota is recovering strongly, showing total employment numbers that are approaching pre-recession levels.
Our graduates can look to South Dakota with confidence in a strong, resilient economy -- one that has a place for you. Whether in our surging financial, manufacturing, or healthcare sectors, or in a further educational effort, South Dakota has good opportunities waiting for its graduates.
I am very proud of our graduating classes of 2012. You have passed an important milestone and the world is wide open to you. As you consider your path and the many choices available to you, I hope you find your new undertaking right here in South Dakota.
You've shown the drive and fortitude to finish your education. Your new adventure here can enlist that same determination and self-reliance in powering South Dakota for years to come.
Take a look right here. You'll like what you find. There's no place like home.