In the News

Posted on June 04, 2024

This article was originally published by Keloland.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s no secret that South Dakota needs workers. More than a hundred and fifty young people who will fill some positions got good news today. They officially received scholarships to Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls.

The Hub Auditorium at Southeast Tech was packed with 167 new students who signed on the dotted line. By committing to a field of study through the Build Dakota Scholarship fund, they are getting a free education.

Southeast Tech, Mitchell Tech, Lake Area Tech, and Western Dakota Tech all take part in the program. Filling high-demand jobs in fields like construction, engineering, health care, and welding. Today, Adam Joachim is building highway bridges, sponsored by the Journey Group, he used the program to get his degree in construction management.

“You go to school, and you don’t have any debt, you graduate with no debt,” said 2023 graduate Adam Joachim of Corsica.

The scholarship program started ten years ago with 25 million dollars from the state and 25 million dollars from T. Denny Sanford, and today, it is funded by dozens of companies, large and small. First Premier CEO Dana Dykhouse is the Build Dakota Scholarship Board chair.

“With this class, when this class across the state finishes up, we will have over 4,000 skilled workers out in our workforce 4,000 that is hard to believe. We have awarded over 43 million dollars in scholarships over those ten years, and it is all because of our industry partners,” said Dykhouse.

Those running the scholarship say its a way to train badly needed workers and give young people a jump start on their careers and their lives.

“I just bought a house yesterday,” said Joachim. “With all that money I saved, I could buy a house. I also used the Grants for Grads they just came out with, so the state is doing a lot of great things to help people stay in state and work for South Dakota.”

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