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For Immediate Release: March 31, 2010
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Technical graduates still faring well in the workforce

Graduates of South Dakota’s four technical institutes seem to be weathering the national recession fairly well.

According to the technical institutes’ 2008-09 Placement Report, most of the graduates have found jobs. The report was presented Wednesday to the state Board of Education.

Among employable graduates, 93 percent are employed; 81 percent found jobs in their chosen fields. Of the graduates employed in their fields, 80 percent found jobs in training-related careers in South Dakota.

“These numbers tell us that graduates from our technical programs are still in high demand,” said Mark Wilson, director of the Office of Curriculum, Career and Technical Education in the South Dakota Department of Education. “The administration and faculty at each of the technical institutes work closely with business and industry to make sure graduates receive technical training that adequately prepares them for workforce opportunities.”

The report shows that 100 percent of the 2009 graduates of Lake Area Technical Institute’s Physical Therapy Assisting Program reported employment in that field. Graduates of the program had an average starting wage of $16.70 per hour.

“These figures really speak to the quality of those programs offered at the technical institutes,” Wilson said.

Programming at each of the state’s four technical institutes – including Lake Area in Watertown, Mitchell Tech in Mitchell, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls and Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City – is overseen at the state level by the South Dakota Board of Education.