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Governor's Column: Strengthening Our Technical Institutes


Location: Pierre, SD

By Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Spending time over the holidays with my adult children, I was reminded how important it is to give every young person an opportunity to stay in South Dakota to live, work and raise a family.

That means creating more jobs in our state. It also means educating our young people about the many jobs that are available in high demand fields: engineering, information technology, health care, accounting, construction trades and manufacturing.

Many of these opportunities can be pursued through a program at one of our state's technical institutes: Lake Area Tech in Watertown, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls, Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City and Mitchell Tech.

Offering high quality programs, with state of the art equipment and training, is vital to the future of our state. Strengthening these programs gives our young people the opportunity to stay in the state in a high-demand field, and it gives our businesses new employees so they have the confidence to add jobs in South Dakota.

That is why I am announcing a commitment of $3.8 million from the Future Fund to purchase major equipment upgrades at our technical institutes. These grants will help the technical institutes ensure our students can train on the same equipment they will use in the real world. From hemodynamic monitors used in cardiovascular procedures, to computer numerically controlled press brakes and robotics trainers used in manufacturing, to telecaster production switches used in satellite communications, these upgrades will offer significant improvements to our programs.

The programs targeted by the Future Fund grants are those in highest demand in the state. I am committed to ensure that South Dakota's workforce needs are addressed. These dollars will ensure that these programs have both the capacity to address the workforce needs and the quality to ensure that program graduates are ready to join the workforce.

High quality technical education is not cheap, but it is valuable both to the individuals who receive the education and to the state as a whole. I hope this is another step to offering even stronger and more numerous opportunities for our young people here in South Dakota.

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