SD Technical schools prepare students and the state for the futu - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SD technical schools prepare students and the state for the future

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South Dakota technical school students will have to dig just a little bit deeper in their pockets.

Per credit fees are going up $4, but tuition will remain the same.

Some believe these schools are the key to the state's economic future.

We have what could be called an embarrassment of riches.

Too many skilled jobs but not enough people to fill them.

South Dakota's technical schools play a role in supplying enough qualified applicants to meet the demand for workers.

As student Trey Martin makes his way his through Southeast Technical Institute, he already plans to move out of state.

"I've always kind of had the mindset of being in a bigger city, but a lot of students here are quite successful when they go right to Sioux Falls. I'm sure in the big scheme of things, I'll probably start out in an entry level job here to kind of save up and get myself prepped for a bigger city."

But the goal of many South Dakota tech schools is to prevent students like Trey from leaving.

Southeast Technical Institute president Jeff Holcomb said "there are manufacturing opportunities, construction opportunities, finance opportunities, healthcare, so many different things and all of them are requiring a workforce that we train."

And while the demand for these future skilled workers is running high, their tuition rates have been frozen, which is good for students and the state.

"We are very thankful that the governor and the legislature was kind and offered us this opportunity to hold down our cost to our students so they don't have those continual growth and costs," Holcomb said.

South Dakota Department of Labor office manager Greg Johnson said "in South Dakota and in the Sioux Falls area, with the economy really zooming right now, there are lots of job opportunities. But these jobs require some basic skills and even some advance skills. The tech schools are definitely a great resource for training the future workforce."

"We certainly want to skill people in the right areas so that we fill our demands and make sure they're happy and healthy and paying taxes and buying houses," Holcomb said.

Governor Daugaard hopes the student who studies in South Dakota, stays in South Dakota.

Nearly a third of all out of state students stay here to work after graduation.

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