Q&A with Noah: Why Relocating to Work in the Midwest is a Great Idea

Persona welcomes new employees from across the United States. There are many amazing reasons why new employees move to South Dakota such as our quality of life, low taxes and cost of living, and living closer family and friends. Watertown, specifically, is filled with abundant career opportunities and possibilities.

Watertown, one of the most progressive communities in South Dakota, now offers assistance to home buyers with the Watertown Home Program. To clarify, the program started in 2020 and was created to attract new workforce to the area. Home buyers may receive a down payment of up to 3% towards the purchase of their new home. For more information on the home program visit the Watertown Works website.

Noah Essenmacher, an installation specialist at Persona, has been working with Persona since January of 2021. He describes his move from Michigan to South Dakota and how working in the Midwest is a great experience.

Q. What drew you to move to South Dakota?

A. I lived in Michigan for most of my life, but when the state introduced lockdowns and restrictions in response to COVID-19 I saw everything change. Businesses, large and small, were forced to shut their doors or drastically cut back their services. My teaching position at the state university and consultation work at the local community college came to an end with staff cuts as courses moved entirely online.

Settling for an unemployment check didn’t suit my aspirations. As I looked for work, the businesses the state considered essential did not have much to offer in terms of meaningful long-term employment.

In addition, robberies and shootings in the city were also up significantly since the shutdowns. Home wasn’t a safe place anymore.

I set my mind looking outside the state where I could live a better life. Also, I wanted to move to a place where the restrictions were not in place, where I would have a lower cost of living and tax burden, and where I could find both strong communities and more personal freedom. I did my research and considered several options. South Dakota stood out in a positive way.

Q. What about Persona stood out among the other employers in this area?

A. Persona is well established in its marketplace. The website, pictures, and videos make Persona appear to be a large business in a small community. There was an opportunity to begin again in a new industry with a company that could offer advancement and growth opportunities. Also, the video clips showed small teams working together on large, meaningful projects. The people working here seemed to show pride in their work and the reputation of the company. All of that was appealing.

Q. Will you please share what you’ve enjoyed most about your job at Persona?

A. I enjoy the challenge of learning new things, particularly how signs are put together and how they function. My professional background is in media and education, but some of my experience as a carpenter of 10 years helps me relate to the installers I work with on a variety of projects. I know the importance of building strong working relationships and understanding the challenges installers face in the field.

At Persona, I enjoy meeting new, talented people in a professional setting. Getting to know a small team was a good introduction to the company. As my skills advance and I become more involved, I continue to meet new people, discover more opportunities to learn from others, and grow the kinds of skills employers everywhere value.

Q. What in your past education/job experience has helped you in your new role at Persona?

A. Communication and creativity was always the most important part of my teaching and media work. Today, I’m speaking and writing every day with people from all over the country and across the office. I’m also exercising my problem-solving skills daily when issues present themselves in everything from production to installation. Above all, the patience I’ve developed for myself and others through teaching has been most translatable experience.

Noah has been a very valuable asset to Persona for the past 6 months. There are many benefits to moving to South Dakota and we encourage people all over the map to consider working at Persona. Employees like Noah make for a more diverse, innovative company and help Persona grow.

Persona is happy to talk with you! We provide confidential consultations and are happy to answer any questions you may have! Email us at recruiter@personasigns.com orcall us at 605-882-2244