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For Immediate Release: March 25, 2013
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Technical institutes boast high job placement rates

South Dakota’s four technical institutes boasted high job-placement rates again this year, with a combined graduate placement rate of 97 percent. The placement report for the 2011-12 school year was presented to the South Dakota Board of Education during a meeting earlier today.

Of the 2,093 graduates responding, 97 percent reported either being employed, continuing their education or entering the military. The survey response rate was 91 percent, and 89 percent of all those responding said they were not only employed, they were also employed in a training-related career field.

“The really exciting thing about these numbers is they’ve been good for several years now – and still they just keep getting better,” said Deb Shephard, president of Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, which was just named one of the top two-year colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute.

The report tracks several key factors, including location, job status, and entry wage through a survey mailed to graduates. The numbers, including response rate and entry wage, have traditionally been very strong, despite a national economy struggling to rebound after recession.

At its meeting today, the board also approved a new program and a program expansion for Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City. Western Dakota will be beginning a Precision Machining program in fall 2013, and WDT’s Practical Nursing program is being upgraded to an Associate’s of Applied Sciences degree.

“These programs align with the state’s goals of filling rural health care jobs and growing the manufacturing sector in South Dakota,” said WDT President Mark Wilson. “In addition, they also make sense in terms of the development we’re seeing in our region right now.”

The board also approved a $7 per-credit increase in tuition and fees for the upcoming year.